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France Mandates New Roofs Must Be Covered in Solar Panels or Plants
Photo credit: Shutterstock
French environmental activists initially proposed that all new buildings be completely covered by foliage, but officials thought that would be too extreme for businesses. The new law is a compromise that allows developers to choose between partial green roofing or installing solar panels instead.
Green roofs, in which shrubs, trees and other flora are planted atop a building, have a whole host of eco-friendly benefits. As we previously mentioned, they reduce the heat island effect in cities, filter air pollution, improve building efficiency and much more. They also reduce the volume of storm water flowing into sewer systems.
France is already a green roof leader in Europe—according to the Guardian Weekly, the country has ten times more green roofs than Germany, which pioneered this field. It's not unusual to mandate green roofs, as Toronto required new buildings to include rooftop plants in 2009.
This push for solar panel installations is only good news for France, which derives roughly 75 percent of its electricity from nuclear power. Think Progress notes that the country is lagging in solar energy, with only five gigawatts of photovoltaics installed as of last summer, accounting for a mere one percent of all energy production (Germany, in comparison has nearly 40 gigawatts installed).
Perhaps France is making efforts to spruce up its epic pollution problem before world leaders converge at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris this December. Across France, air pollution has been appallingly high, with the capital city's noxious smog rivaling notoriously polluted cities such as Beijing and New Delhi. Paris is aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent by 2050.
Just this week, Paris authorities banned half the number of cars on the road in an effort to improve air quality. It's the third time since 1997 that the City of Light has had to resort to such a measure, with a similar ban enacted around the same time last year.
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.