Trump Admin Begins Official Withdrawal From Paris Agreement
President Trump confirmed Wednesday that his administration will start its official pullout from the 2015 Paris agreement, a long expected move that sacrifices the country's ability to be a leader in the fight against the global climate crisis.
Trump's withdrawal, which can officially begin on Nov. 4, is part of his "America First" policy, he argued at a natural gas conference in Pittsburgh, as Reuters reported.
"The Paris accord would have been shutting down American producers with excessive regulatory restrictions like you would not believe, while allowing foreign producers to pollute with impunity," said Trump, who was flanked on stage by workers in hard hats, as Reuters reported.
"What we won't do is punish the American people while enriching foreign polluters," he claimed, adding: "I'm proud to say it, it's called America First."
By the rule of law, the U.S. can submit to the UN a written intention to leave on Nov. 4. It can then officially leave, one year later, which will be one day after the 2020 election.
If the U.S. does withdraw, it will leave the U.S. and Syria as the world's only two countries not in the Paris agreement — the world's biggest economy and a war-torn nation. The Paris agreement is essentially a voluntary commitment from countries around the world to cut emissions. The Obama administration agreed to cut emissions 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, but the state department under Trump has not turned over any documents showing progress toward that goal, as The New York Times reported.
"I withdrew the United States from the terrible, one-sided Paris Climate accord. It was a total disaster," claimed Trump in his speech yesterday, as The Hill reported. "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris."
How a commitment from nearly 200 countries around the world is one-sided was not explained. However, environmentalists, policy makers and scientists quickly criticized the move, noting that leaving damages the ability of the U.S. to lead in the lucrative transition to cleaner energy, as Reuters reported.
"This is really a betrayal of the next generation," said Malik Russell, a spokesman for The Climate Mobilization, a youth-led environmental advocacy group, who added that the decision was insanity, as the The New York Times reported.
"President Trump's anti-science stance that climate change is not a serious threat demanding meaningful action puts the profits of fossil fuel polluters above the health and well-being of current and future generations," said Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists and a leading expert on the United Nation's international climate negotiations process, in a statement. "It also impedes the ability of American companies and workers to compete with other countries like China and Germany in the rapidly expanding market for climate-friendly technologies."
"Fortunately, no other country is following President Trump out the door on Paris," he added.
The original agreement to cooperate to curtail a mounting crisis was rejected by Nicaragua, a poor central-American nation, because the agreement did not go far enough to slash emissions. Nicaragua subsequently joined in 2017, saying it was the only available instrument that has a unity of intentions to face the climate crisis and natural disasters, as Reuters reported.
"It will take some time to recover from this train wreck of U.S. diplomacy," said Andrew Light, a former State Department official during the Obama administration and currently a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute, as Reuters reported.
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Wisdom the mōlī, or Laysan albatross, is the oldest wild bird known to science at the age of at least 70. She is also, as of February 1, a new mother.
<div id="dadb2" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="aa2ad8cb566c9b4b6d2df2693669f6f9"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1357796504740761602" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">🚨Cute baby alert! Wisdom's chick has hatched!!! 🐣😍 Wisdom, a mōlī (Laysan albatross) and world’s oldest known, ban… https://t.co/Nco050ztBA</div> — USFWS Pacific Region (@USFWS Pacific Region)<a href="https://twitter.com/USFWSPacific/statuses/1357796504740761602">1612558888.0</a></blockquote></div>
By Hui Hu
Winter is supposed to be the best season for wind power – the winds are stronger, and since air density increases as the temperature drops, more force is pushing on the blades. But winter also comes with a problem: freezing weather.
Comparing rime ice and glaze ice shows how each changes the texture of the blade. Gao, Liu and Hu, 2021, CC BY-ND
Ice buildup changes air flow around the turbine blade, which can slow it down. The top photos show ice forming after 10 minutes at different temperatures in the Wind Research Tunnel. The lower measurements show airflow separation as ice accumulates. Icing Research Tunnel of Iowa State University, CC BY-ND
While traditional investment in the ocean technology sector has been tentative, growth in Israeli maritime innovations has been exponential in the last few years, and environmental concern has come to the forefront.
theDOCK aims to innovate the Israeli maritime sector. Pexels<p>The UN hopes that new investments in ocean science and technology will help turn the tide for the oceans. As such, this year kicked off the <a href="https://www.oceandecade.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)</a> to galvanize massive support for the blue economy.</p><p>According to the World Bank, the blue economy is the "sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem," <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019338255#b0245" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Science Direct</a> reported. It represents this new sector for investments and innovations that work in tandem with the oceans rather than in exploitation of them.</p><p>As recently as Aug. 2020, <a href="https://www.reutersevents.com/sustainability/esg-investors-slow-make-waves-25tn-ocean-economy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Reuters</a> noted that ESG Investors, those looking to invest in opportunities that have a positive impact in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, have been interested in "blue finance" but slow to invest.</p><p>"It is a hugely under-invested economic opportunity that is crucial to the way we have to address living on one planet," Simon Dent, director of blue investments at Mirova Natural Capital, told Reuters.</p><p>Even with slow investment, the blue economy is still expected to expand at twice the rate of the mainstream economy by 2030, Reuters reported. It already contributes $2.5tn a year in economic output, the report noted.</p><p>Current, upward <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/-innovation-blue-economy-2646147405.html" target="_self">shifts in blue economy investments are being driven by innovation</a>, a trend the UN hopes will continue globally for the benefit of all oceans and people.</p><p>In Israel, this push has successfully translated into investment in and innovation of global ports, shipping, logistics and offshore sectors. The "Startup Nation," as Israel is often called, has seen its maritime tech ecosystem grow "significantly" in recent years and expects that growth to "accelerate dramatically," <a href="https://itrade.gov.il/belgium-english/how-israel-is-becoming-a-port-of-call-for-maritime-innovation/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">iTrade</a> reported.</p><p>Driving this wave of momentum has been rising Israeli venture capital hub <a href="https://www.thedockinnovation.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">theDOCK</a>. Founded by Israeli Navy veterans in 2017, theDOCK works with early-stage companies in the maritime space to bring their solutions to market. The hub's pioneering efforts ignited Israel's maritime technology sector, and now, with their new fund, theDOCK is motivating these high-tech solutions to also address ESG criteria.</p><p>"While ESG has always been on theDOCK's agenda, this theme has become even more of a priority," Nir Gartzman, theDOCK's managing partner, told EcoWatch. "80 percent of the startups in our portfolio (for theDOCK's Navigator II fund) will have a primary or secondary contribution to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria."</p><p>In a company presentation, theDOCK called contribution to the ESG agenda a "hot discussion topic" for traditional players in the space and their boards, many of whom are looking to adopt new technologies with a positive impact on the planet. The focus is on reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment, the presentation outlines. As such, theDOCK also explicitly screens candidate investments by ESG criteria as well.</p><p>Within the maritime space, environmental innovations could include measures like increased fuel and energy efficiency, better monitoring of potential pollution sources, improved waste and air emissions management and processing of marine debris/trash into reusable materials, theDOCK's presentation noted.</p>
theDOCK team includes (left to right) Michal Hendel-Sufa, Head of Alliances, Noa Schuman, CMO, Nir Gartzman, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, and Hannan Carmeli, Co-Founder & Managing Partner. Dudu Koren<p>theDOCK's own portfolio includes companies like Orca AI, which uses an intelligent collision avoidance system to reduce the probability of oil or fuel spills, AiDock, which eliminates the use of paper by automating the customs clearance process, and DockTech, which uses depth "crowdsourcing" data to map riverbeds in real-time and optimize cargo loading, thereby reducing trips and fuel usage while also avoiding groundings.</p><p>"Oceans are a big opportunity primarily because they are just that – big!" theDOCK's Chief Marketing Officer Noa Schuman summarized. "As such, the magnitude of their criticality to the global ecosystem, the magnitude of pollution risk and the steps needed to overcome those challenges – are all huge."</p><p>There is hope that this wave of interest and investment in environmentally-positive maritime technologies will accelerate the blue economy and ESG investing even further, in Israel and beyond.</p>
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