Climate Summit Aims to 'Take Ambition to the Next Level'
The Sept. 12 to 14 gathering will feature numerous seminars, notable speakers such as former vice president Al Gore and former secretary of state John Kerry, and will culminate Friday with a call urging international governments to commit greater efforts in averting dangerous global warming under the goals of the Paris climate agreement.
Collective action on tackling climate change is more important than ever, especially in light of
President Trump's intention to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris agreement and his continued efforts to push polluting, planet-warming fossil fuels.
"We're running out of time," as Gov. Brown says on the event website. "There's been some backsliding since Paris, and our summit ... aims to increase the commitments that have already been made in Paris, to make them even greater, and thereby build the momentum going into the conference of the parties at Poland," aka the COP24 climate talks, this December.
People from all over the world are gathering this week in San Francisco for @GCAS2018. Against the indifference of… https://t.co/6Ikl3M5nvB— Jerry Brown (@Jerry Brown)1536596925.0
In an op-ed this week for the San Francisco Chronicle, Brown wrote: "We all know that Donald Trump has declared war on every effort to stop global warming and that his congressional acolytes have abetted his insane crusade. Tragically, even the leaders of nations who joined in the 2015 Paris climate accord are also failing to do what it takes to reverse global warming. Greenhouse gas levels are still rising, and they are producing an unsustainable human future."
Fittingly, the theme of GCAS is to take "Take Ambition to the Next Level."
"The summit in San Francisco is bringing together grassroots activists, mayors, governors, heads of industry and international leaders for the express purpose of mobilizing climate action at the local level and to demand that their national governments get serious and raise their ambitions," Brown added.
Once the meeting gets going, we should expect significant climate action announcements from a major food and beverage company, a large utility and a major healthcare company, according to a press release received by EcoWatch.
Several companies will also make commitments to roll out more zero-emissions vehicles and charging infrastructure, the release said.
Ahead of the gathering, Kaiser Permanente—the nation's largest nonprofit integrated health care system and GCAS sponsor—announced a major renewable power purchase agreement on Monday that will allow the organization to become carbon neutral in 2020.
"Climate change is here. We are seeing the effects of it in devastating wildfires, hurricanes and droughts already impacting people's lives," said chairman and CEO Bernard J. Tyson in a statement received by EcoWatch. "At Kaiser Permanente we understand that one of the most effective ways to protect the health of the more than 68 million people in the communities we serve is by ensuring healthy environmental conditions. By investing in renewable energy and becoming carbon neutral, Kaiser Permanente is helping to prevent climate-related illness for people worldwide."
The gathering will celebrate existing climate commitments and achievements, and will ask the world to step up their efforts in five key challenge areas: Healthy Energy Systems; Inclusive Economic Growth; Sustainable Communities; Land and Ocean Stewardship; Transformative Climate Investments.
The World Wildlife Fund, a leader of the Land and Ocean Stewardship challenge, issued the 30X30 Forests, Food and Land Challenge that calls on businesses, governments and citizens to take action for better forest and habitat conservation, food production and consumption and land use.
"To curb climate change, we must address the second-greatest source of emissions: our use of land," said Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, head of WWF's global climate and energy practice in an online press release. "By taking concrete action, businesses and local leaders also can encourage national governments to more aggressively reduce carbon emissions using every resource available, including trees, grasses and soil."
Alongside the summit itself, there will be more than 325 affiliate events in San Francisco and elsewhere. Many of these panels, workshops, tours, exhibits and other special events are open for the public or can be attended virtually.
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When Europeans first arrived in North America, Atlantic puffins were common on islands in the Gulf of Maine. But hunters killed many of the birds for food or for feathers to adorn ladies' hats. By the 1800s, the population in Maine had plummeted.
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By Alex Kirby
The temperature of the Arctic matters to the entire world: it helps to keep the global climate fairly cool. Scientists now say that by 2035 there could be an end to Arctic sea ice.
Melt Ponds Crucial<p>"The prospect of loss of sea ice by 2035 should really be focusing all our minds on achieving a low-carbon world as soon as humanly feasible."</p><p><a href="http://www.reading.ac.uk/search/search-staff-details.aspx?id=10813" target="_blank">Dr. David Schroeder from the University of Reading</a>, UK, who co-led the implementation of the melt pond scheme in the climate model, says, "This shows just how important sea ice processes like melt ponds are in the Arctic, and why it is crucial that they are incorporated into climate models."</p><p>The extent of the areas <a href="https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/seaice/characteristics/formation.html" target="_blank">sea ice</a> covers varies between summer and winter. If more solar energy is absorbed at the surface, and temperatures rise further, a cycle of warming and melting occurs during summer months.</p><p>When the ice forms, the ocean water beneath becomes saltier and denser than the surrounding ocean. Saltier water sinks and moves along the ocean bottom towards the equator, while warm water from mid-depths to the surface travels from the equator towards the poles.</p><p>Scientists refer to this process as the ocean's global "conveyor-belt." Changes to the volume of sea ice can disrupt normal ocean circulation, with consequences for global climate. </p>
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Russia's Health Ministry has given regulatory approval for the world's first COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.
Putin's Daughter Among Vaccinated<p>The Russian leader also said that one of his daughters has already been inoculated and is feeling well.</p><p>"One of my daughters got vaccinated, so in this sense, she took part in the testing," Putin said.</p><p>After the first vaccine shot, his daughter experienced a slight fever, 38 degrees Celsius (100.4°F). Her temperature came down to just slightly above normal the next day. </p><p>"After the second shot, she had a slight fever again, and then everything was fine. She is feeling well and has a high antibody count," Putin said. </p><p>He didn't specify which of his two daughters, Maria or Katerina, received the vaccine.</p><p>Russian health authorities have said that medical workers, teachers and other risk groups will be the first to receive shots of the vaccine.</p>
Years of Work Reduced to Weeks<p>Russia is the first country to register a COVID-19 vaccine. As <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/germany-coronavirus-vaccine-may-only-be-available-in-mid-2021/a-54362065" target="_blank">countries worldwide race to produce the first vaccine</a>, health experts warn that speed and national pride could compromise safety.</p><p>Scientists in Russia and abroad have questioned Moscow's decision to register the vaccine before Phase 3 trials that normally last for months and involve thousands of people, but Putin emphasized that the vaccine underwent the necessary trials and that vaccination will be voluntary.</p><p>Russian officials have said that large-scale production of the vaccine will begin in September, and mass vaccination may start as early as October.</p><p>Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, meanwhile, has <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/philippines-duterte-volunteers-to-be-putins-russian-coronavirus-vaccine-guinea-pig/a-54523030" target="_blank">lauded Russia's efforts in developing the vaccine</a> and said that the Philippines is ready to work with Moscow on vaccine trials, supply and production. Duterte volunteered to "be the first they can experiment on."</p><p>"I will tell President Putin that I have huge trust in your studies in combating COVID and I believe that the vaccine that you have produced is really good for humanity," Duterte said, adding that he thinks Russia's vaccine will be ready for the Philippines by December.</p>
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A powerful series of thunderstorms roared across the Midwest on Monday, downing trees, damaging structures and knocking out power to more than a million people.