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Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life
Activists rally on Jan. 19, 2021 in New York City to demand that U.S. President Joe Biden take immediate executive action to "Build Back Fossil Free." Lev Radin / Pacific Press / LightRocket via Getty Images

By Kenny Stancil

While President Joe Biden's top climate envoy John Kerry told world leaders at a virtual climate summit that the U.S. will fulfill its commitment to provide financial support to developing countries as they grapple with the deadly consequences of a warming planet, campaigners are urging the U.S. to follow the lead of European Union officials who on Monday pledged to stop subsidizing fossil fuels and instead invest in a just transition toward clean energy.

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Former coal lobbyist and current EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler looks at a pamphlet about Superfund sites at EPA's New York City office on March 4, 2019. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Former coal lobbyist and current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Andrew Wheeler is expected to announce on Tuesday a rule tobacco consultants devised as an "explicit procedural hurdle" to protecting public health.

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Westend61 / Getty Images

For many people, the holidays are rich with time-honored traditions like decorating the Christmas tree, lighting the menorah, caroling, cookie baking, and sipping from the unity cup. But there's another unofficial, official holiday tradition that spans all ages and beliefs and gives people across the world hope for a better tomorrow: the New Year's resolution.

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Mongabay's longtime editor and senior correspondent Jeremy Hance published his memoir, Baggage, this year. Jeremy Hance / YouTube

By John C. Cannon

Books have provided a welcome refuge in 2020. The global pandemic has, in many cases, turned even routine travel into a risk not worth taking, and it has left many longing for the day when we will once again set off for a new destination. At the same time, this year has also been a time to reflect on the sense of place and what home means to each of us.

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A resident of Springdale, Pennsylvania looks out her front window at the smoke stack of the Cheswick coal-fired power plant on Oct. 27, 2017. Robert Nickelsberg / Getty Images

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator and former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler acted Monday to lock in status quo industrial soot pollution limits for another five years, disregarding the emerging scientific link between air pollution and numerous health harms, including increased COVID-19 death rates.

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The new battery will be double the size of the South Australian one that had been the largest in the world when it was built in 2017 (pictured). Tesla

The Australian state of Victoria will build the largest battery in the Southern Hemisphere to assist in its planned transition to renewable energy.

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Japan's Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide poses for a portrait on September 14, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan, after being elected Liberal Democratic Party President. Nicolas Datiche / Pool / Getty Images

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced that Japan will become country carbon neutral by 2050, Bloomberg reported.

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The 1.4-gigawatt coal-fired Kingston Steam Plant, just outside Kingston, Tennessee on the shore of Watts Bar Lake on March 31, 2019. In 2008, a coal ash pond at the plant collapsed, leading to the largest industrial spill in modern U.S. history and subsequent industry regulations in 2015. Paul Harris / Getty Images

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a rule change on Friday that will allow some coal power plants to ignore a court order to clean up coal ash ponds, which leech toxic materials into soil and groundwater. The rule change will allow some coal ash ponds to stay open for years while others that have no barrier to protect surrounding areas are allowed to stay open indefinitely, according to the AP.

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A resident of Springdale, Pennsylvania looks out her front window at the smoke stack of the Cheswick coal-fired power plant on Oct. 27, 2017. Robert Nickelsberg / Getty Images

A three judge panel in the Court of Appeals in Washington, DC listened to arguments Thursday on a Trump administration rollback of regulations that limit the emissions that power plants are allowed to spew into the atmosphere, as The New York Times reported.

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Beijing's Forbidden City is seen here covered by smog. Yinan Chen / Wikimedia Commons / CC0

By Hao Tan, Elizabeth Thurbon, John Mathews, Sung-Young Kim

China's President Xi Jinping surprised the global community recently by committing his country to net-zero emissions by 2060. Prior to this announcement, the prospect of becoming "carbon neutral" barely rated a mention in China's national policies.

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President Donald Trump hands coal miners the pen he used to sign a bill eliminating environmental regulations on the mining industry at the White House in Washington, D.C., on February 16, 2017. Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images

By Oliver Milman

Art Sullivan is considered something of a political heretic by other coal miners in south-western Pennsylvania, where a wave of support for Donald Trump based upon his flamboyant promises of a resurgence in coal helped propel the Republican to the U.S. presidency.

"Many of my coal miner friends voted for him," said Sullivan, who has spent 54 years as a coal miner and, more latterly, consultant to a struggling industry. "They were deceived. Trump had no plan, no concept of how to resurrect the coal industry. My friends were lied to."

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A new study finds only 10% of global energy utility companies are expanding their renewable energy capacity at a faster rate than their gas or coal-fired capacity. jwvein / Needpix

By Jo Harper

Only 10% of global energy utility companies are expanding their renewable energy capacity at a faster rate than their gas or coal-fired capacity. That is the main finding of a study by Galina Alova from the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford.

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Trump looks on as EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler speaks during an event to unveil changes to the National Environmental Policy Act on Jan. 9, 2020 in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

The Trump administration announced that it would roll back a rule from 2015 that was put in place to limit the amount of toxic chemicals that are in the wastewater of coal plants, according to The Washington Post.

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