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All Paris Agreement Signatories Now Have at Least One Climate Change Policy
All of the 197 signatories of the landmark accord now have at least one national law or policy on climate change, an analysis published Monday by the London School of Economics (LSE) found.
The Global trends in climate change legislation and litigation: 2018 snapshot shows there are now more than 1,500 national climate change laws and policies worldwide, with 106 introduced since the Paris agreement was signed in December 2015.
"Of the 106 new laws and policies passed since the Paris agreement was reached, 28 explicitly reference the agreement," the report states. "Further analyses will be required to determine if these new laws and policies are consistent with the Paris agreement and countries' nationally determined contributions. Alignment between national and international goals will be pivotal to meeting the Paris targets."
The report, from researchers at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy at LSE, was released Monday as representatives of 193 governments meet at the two-week Bonn Climate Change Conference in Germany. The summit is aimed at increasing global action to cut carbon emissions and speeding up progress on the Paris agreement to keep global temperature rise this century well below 2°C.
The report's authors pointed out, "The ability to import internationally declared targets into actionable national laws and policies, and to translate those targets into action, will have a great impact on the success of the Paris agreement."
Also in the analysis, the researchers identified "a new wave" of climate change-related lawsuits and a number of "strategic" cases that "could have significant impact in holding governments and greenhouse gas emitters accountable for climate change."
The are now about 1,000 of climate-related lawsuits, with some cases focused on forcing courts to rule on the consistency of countries' actions with the Paris agreement. For instance, Greenpeace Nordic and the Nature and Youth environmental group sued Norway in November. The plaintiffs alleged that the government is contravening the Paris agreement and has failed to abide by its constitutional obligation to safeguard the environment for future generations.
According to the LSE report, more than 800 of the 1,000 climate-related cases stem from the U.S., including roughly a dozen lawsuits filed directly against the Trump administration's rollbacks of climate regulation.
President Trump, who does not believe in climate change and is ramping up development in fossil fuels, controversially announced his intention withdraw from the Paris agreement, making the U.S. the only signatory in opposition.
U.S. cases also include efforts from San Francisco, Oakland and New York City that have filed lawsuits against major fossil fuel companies, alleging they knew about the threat of climate change for decades but concealed information about it.
On the other hand, the researchers also determined that in the U.S., "industry, conservative NGOs and others have brought suits to support climate change deregulation, reduce climate protections generally or at the project level, and target climate protection supporters."
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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.
"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Governor Mike Parson said at a Thursday morning press conference, as NPR reported. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state. But three is too many."