Climate, Health and Equity
June 26, 2020
Nations, states, corporations and churches act on climate
Written By: Matt James and Traci Siegel
The Climate, Health & Equity Brief is GMMB’s take on the week’s news on the current impacts of climate change. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do so by clicking here.
Hot Topic: Commitments. Just when the world needed some good news, leaders from the public and private sectors announced a wide range of initiatives this week that signal a heightened commitment to sustainability.
As part of its $146 billion economic recovery plan, Germany will require all gas stations to provide electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in an effort to boost demand for electric vehicles. Nevada pledged to adopt California’s strict air pollution laws and joined more than a dozen states in requiring that cars meet higher fuel efficiency standards than required by the Trump administration. And New York launched a $10 million grant program to increase access to solar energy and energy storage systems for low-income residents and communities of color.
In the private sector, retail giant Amazon announced a $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund to support innovations to reduce carbon emissions. The Climate Pledge—which was co-founded last year by Amazon in part to help address its own massive footprint—commits signatories to achieving carbon neutrality throughout their operations by 2040. And ridesharing company Lyft announced that it will transition to a 100 percent electric fleet by 2030 and has pledged to use its influence to advocate for greater EV incentive policies, negotiate with auto manufacturers to reduce EV prices and work to expand charging infrastructure.
And in the faith community, the Vatican is urging the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics to divest from the fossil fuel industry and support commitments to protect the environment.
Such action by nations, states, corporations and religious institutions are vital to addressing climate change, and they provide an example for other leaders to follow in pursuit of a cleaner, healthier and more equitable future for all.
—Matt & Traci, GMMB
Programming note: The Brief will be on hiatus next Friday, July 4. We wish everyone a safe, happy and socially distanced Independence Day!
Germany will require all gasoline stations to provide electric vehicle (EV) charging in an effort to boost consumer demand for EVs as part of the country’s $146 billion economic recovery plan. (Reuters)
The Vatican is urging Catholics and church leaders to divest from the fossil fuel industry and support commitments to contain global warming and protect the environment. (Reuters)
Nevada has joined more than a dozen U.S. states that will adopt California’s car pollution rules, pushing back against weakened fuel efficiency standards by the Trump administration. (Los Angeles Times)
Amazon has launched a $2 billion fund to accelerate the development of carbon reduction technologies that will help companies reach carbon neutrality under its Climate Pledge initiative. (The Verge)
Lyft has pledged to become 100 percent electric by 2030 and will facilitate an EV transition among its drivers by connecting them with existing incentives and advocating for new incentive policies. (Green Tech Media)
A new study revealed that Black women are more likely to have children who are premature, underweight or stillborn due to their disproportionate exposure to both high temperatures and air pollution. (The New York Times)
The state of New York has launched a $10 million grant program to help underserved, low-income residents and communities of color install renewable energy or energy storage in their homes. (Grist)
Major heatwaves and a lack of rainfall have sparked wildfires across Arizona, California, Colorado and New Mexico, prompting the evacuation of thousands of residents amid spiking COVID-19 cases. (The Washington Post)
As researchers forecast hotter than normal temperatures across the U.S. through September, cities are bracing for a simultaneous rise in COVID-19 cases and heat-related health problems as authorities make the difficult decision to keep cooling centers closed. (The New York Times, NPR)
Thawing permafrost in the Arctic Circle is accelerating after the region hit a record 100 degrees last week, threatening sea-level rise and the release of planet-warming greenhouse gases. (BBC)
As worldwide deforestation rates increase, scientists warn that encroaching on natural habitats will continue to expose humans to animal pathogens and intensify future pandemic risks. (NPR)
Looking for something adorable to watch? Stream these live webcams throughout the summer and early fall to see the bears in Alaska’s Katmai National Park prepare for hibernation.
“Climate change is undeniable. Climate action is unstoppable.”
– António Guterres, UN Secretary General