US-China tensions threaten global climate change efforts
China and the United States both say they are intent on retooling their economies to burn less climate-wrecking coal, oil and gas. But tensions between them threaten their ultimate success (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)WASHINGTON – The world’s hopes for curbing climate change hinge on action by two giant nations whose relations are deteriorating: China and the United States. New details of how quickly China plans to reduce carbon emissions will be revealed Friday when Beijing releases its next Five Year Plan. And in April, President Joe Biden is expected to announce the United States' own new targets for emissions cuts. AdThe U.S. and China both have appointed veteran envoys as their global climate negotiators, John Kerry and Xie Zhenhua.
UN: Carbon-cutting pledges by countries nowhere near enough
A United Nations report released on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, finds the countries of the world are not promising to do enough carbon-cutting to keep global warming from hitting dangerous levels. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)The newest pledges by countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions are falling far short of what's needed to limit global warming to what the Paris climate accord seeks, a new United Nations report finds. Most countries — especially top carbon polluters China, United States and India — missed the Dec. 31 deadline for submitting official emission-cutting targets for November’s climate negotiations in Scotland. Fewer than half of the world’s countries, accounting for 30% of the world’s carbon emissions, submitted targets by the deadline. At least 10 countries that submitted goals last year did not provide tougher goals, Hare said.
Back in Paris pact, US faces tougher climate steps ahead
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)World leaders welcomed the United States' official return to the Paris climate accord Friday, but politically trickier steps lie just ahead for President Joe Biden, including setting a tough national target in coming months for cutting damaging fossil fuel emissions. Officially, the United States was only out of the worldwide global climate pact for 107 days. It’s the political symbolism that the largest economy refuses to see the opportunity of addressing climate change.” said Christiana Figueres, the former United Nations climate chief. Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the top Republican on the Senate energy panel, has criticized Biden for rejoining the Paris accord, tweeting: “Returning to the Paris climate agreement will raise Americans’ energy costs and won’t solve climate change. The Biden administration will set unworkable targets for the United States while China and Russia can continue with business as usual."
UN: Huge changes in society needed to keep nature, Earth OK
A United Nations report released on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021 says humans are making Earth a broken and increasingly unlivable planet through climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)Humans are making Earth a broken and increasingly unlivable planet through climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. So the world must make dramatic changes to society, economics and daily life, a new United Nations report says. And many of the solutions, such as eliminating fossil fuel use, combat multiple problems including climate change and pollution, she said. The report also tells nations to value nature in addition to the gross domestic product when calculating how an economy is doing.
Five years on, signs that Paris climate accord is working
Five years after a historic climate deal in Paris, world leaders are again meeting to increase their efforts to fight global warming. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)The forecast for global warming is looking a little less bleak in the long term, but not so rosy in the short term. With numerous countries pledging to clean up their act and projected temperature rises now smaller than they once were, scientists and diplomats say the outlook for mid-to-late century is not as gloomy as it was when the historic 2015 Paris climate accord was signed. On Saturday, exactly five years after the Paris climate agreement was struck, world leaders will gather virtually to both celebrate progress and chart the next steps. More than 100 countries — and even more companies, states and cities — have pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century.