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Tag: United States of America (USA) (Page 1 of 2)

77 countries have pledged to phase out coal, the dirtiest of the fossil fuels that drive global warming

But China, India and the USA did not sign the agreement at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

One nation alone, China, accounts for more than 40% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions from burning coal. China is not joining the world in this commitment and instead promises to increase building coal fired power plants to meet soaring power demand.

To boost coal output, China has “revived old mines, hurried through permits for expansions and loosened some safety regulations. They’ve also stepped in on prices to ensure electricity generators are incentivized to fully use power plant capacity.” (Bloomberg)

China is also seeking to increase imports of foreign coal. China’s demand for the fossil fuel in the power and industrial sectors could break the country’s 2013 record for emissions from coal.

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Over 100 nations promise to end deforestation by 2030

BusinessGreen »

More than 100 world leaders have signed a historic pact to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030, in a deal that has been hailed by some observers as one of the “first major outcomes” from the COP26 Climate Summit.

The UK, the US, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, China, Colombia, Indonesia, Canada, and Russia are among the countries to sign the agreement, which is set to be announced at a forest and land use event tomorrow at COP26 by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the UK government confirmed late last night.

In his address to world leaders at the event, Johnson is expected to hail the new agreement – which reportedly has been signed by governments responsible for the 85 per cent of the world’s forests – as an “unprecedented” step forward for efforts to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises.

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Elsewhere » Axios / CBC  / Al Jazeera / Euractive /

Georgia, Kentucky and Idaho are leading the USA’s Great Resignation

CBS News »

A record number of Americans are quitting their jobs across the U,S., a trend some have dubbed the “Great Resignation.” But the phenomenon is making an outsized impact in some regions: In Georgia, Kentucky and Idaho, more than 4% of workers voluntarily left their jobs in Augus — the highest rates in the country.

Perhaps not coincidentally, those three are among the states with the nation’s lowest minimum wage — the federally mandated rate of $7.25 an hour. States with more generous baseline wages tended to have a lower “quits” rate, or the percentage of workers who handed in their resignations, recent federal labor data show.

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed laws banning toxic PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ in children’s products and food packaging

Well done. Canada also needs ban toxic perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

Sharon Udasin, The Hill »

The pollutants driving the first two laws are perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of toxic compounds linked to kidney, liver, immunological, developmental and reproductive issues. These so-called forever chemicals are most known for contaminating waterways via firefighting foam, but they are also key ingredients in an array of household products like nonstick pans, toys, makeup, fast-food containers and waterproof apparel.

One of the laws, introduced by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D), prohibits the use of PFAS in children’s products, such as car seats and cribs, beginning on July 1, 2023, according to the governor’s office.

The second PFAS-related law, proposed by Assemblyman Philip Ting (D), bans intentionally added PFAS from food packaging and requires cookware manufacturers to disclose the presence of PFAS and other chemicals on products and labels online — beginning on January 1, 2023.

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Kawasaki plans to switch to electric motorcycles by 2035

Nikkei »

Currently there are no Kawasaki motorcycles that are powered by electricity, but it plans to introduce more than 10 electric models by 2025. The goal is to completely switch over to electric motorcycles by 2035 in Japan, Europe, the U.S., Canada and Australia. The company plans to launch hybrid and all electric versions. It also plans develop engines that run on hydrogen.

Kawasaki Heavy’s motorcycle sales came to 380,000 vehicles in 2020. Despite a global market share of only around 1%, Kawasaki has a strong presence in Japan and North America with its mainstay, brand-name large motorcycles. Global demand for motorcycles was about 44.5 million vehicles in 2020, down about 20% from the previous year due to the pandemic, but appetite for the two wheelers is now growing because they are seen as relatively safe an infectious-disease-conscious world. Kawasaki will seek to expand its market share by focusing on decarbonization, a goal in line with government policies around the world.

Honda holds the crown as the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer. It says it aims to decarbonize by 2050 but has yet to give specific timeline. Yamaha Motor has set a goal of making 90% of its motorcycles electric by 2050. An executive there, however, acknowledges that batteries are hard to come by when competing with passenger cars.

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America’s pandemic travel bans – even to vaccinated travellers – are no longer logical or based on science

Edward Alden, a senior fellow at Council on Foreign Relations, believes the U.S. travel bans could remain in effect until after November 2022 midterms.

 Edward Alden, Foreign Policy »

In comparison, U.S. travel and border policies have barely budged since the start of the pandemic. Some rules have tightened under U.S. President Joe Biden, even as many of the countries whose citizens remain banned have significantly outpaced the United States in controlling the pandemic. In February and March 2020, the Trump administration barred travel from China, Iran, the Schengen countries of the EU, Britain, and Ireland—all places that had significant early outbreaks. Trump later added Brazil to the list of prohibited countries, and this year Biden added South Africa and India following outbreaks of new variants in those countries. For the land borders, the United States agreed with Canada and Mexico in March 2020 to block all but “essential” travelers. Given a long history of close U.S.-Canadian cooperation, Ottawa was caught off-guard last month when it lifted the land border restrictions for vaccinated Americans only to have Washington extend its shutdown and refuse to reciprocate for Canadians.

The lack of U.S. progress cannot be laid at the feet of Trump, who was certainly eager to use the pandemic as an excuse for closing the borders, especially with Mexico and the EU. But in his final days, Trump had decided to lift the travel restrictions on Europeans and Brazilians, only to have Biden extend the bans during his first week in office.

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