Hey climate heroes! Welcome to The Climate Roundup, where we round up the change, er the news about climate and the environment. As part of the Gen E community, we thank you for making climate action part of everyday life. (Reading this newsletter counts!)
In Pop Culture:
James Cameron’s much-anticipated second installment in the Avatar franchise released this week with a climate-focused message. There’s been a fair amount of criticism for the movie as well as praise, but I’m just happy that major blockbusters are embracing climate change as a theme. Although I do have one question – is the white guy with dreadlocks problematic if he’s a blue guy with dreadlocks?
GETTING DOWN TO CLIMATE BUSINESS:
🐘 This week was the COP 15 Biodiversity summit in Montreal, and the results were…. mixed. As we told you last week, they agreed to protect and restore at least 30% of the Earth’s land and water by 2030, and wealthier nations will pay “an estimated $30 billion a year by 2030 to poorer nations through a new biodiversity fund that will be created under the Global Environment Facility, a 30-year-old organization that supports environmental work.” You can see more about it in the new ESPN series, 30 by 30 by 30 by 30. Just kidding, you can actually read more about this and the other stuff they decided right here.
💰 Financial institutions in New York are now expected to consider climate-related risks when bringing on new clients and extending credit under guidance released by the New York State Department of Financial Services this week. However, according to the Wall Street Journal, “The regulator doesn’t intend to stop institutions from serving specific sectors, such as oil-and-gas companies.” That’s fine, I’m sure oil and gas companies don’t have many climate-related risks, anyway.
☣️ 3M says it will stop producing “forever chemicals” by 2025. PFAS are a family of nearly 5000 different chemicals that have contaminated US water systems and caused adverse health effects. 3M says that the change was motivated by restrictions proposed by the European Union and the EPA’s plans to further regulate PFAS levels in drinking water. You’re telling me 3M isn’t changing out of the goodness of their own hearts?? I’m shocked!
✉️️ The U.S. Postal Service will add 66,000 electric vehicles by 2028, with a third of the funding for the new trucks coming from the Inflation Reduction Act. Mail trucks are perfect candidates for electric vehicles because they drive the same route every day, so you can anticipate their range needs, and they have their steering wheel on the other side. Okay that part has nothing to do with EVs, but it sure is cool.
🇻🇳 ️In a third-of-its-kind deal, a group of wealthy nations will give Vietnam $15.5 billion to transition away from coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, and hopefully reach net zero emissions by 2050. This is a public-private partnership (or PPP), with half the money coming from the public sector and the other from private investors and major financial institutions like Citi and HSBC. I hope this results in a just energy transition for Vietnam and free bánh mì for me, somehow.
🧴 Exxon’s efforts to clean up plastic pollution were… GASP! mostly greenwashing, with efforts focused largely on “downstream solutions” instead of not making plastic in the first place. The term “downstream solutions” is fitting considering all of our plastic ends up going down into our streams.
69%: DECLINE IN WILDLIFE POPULATIONS SINCE 1970 (WWF)
10%: CURRENT FINANCING FOR BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION IS LESS THAN THIS MUCH OF WHAT’S NEEDED (GOLDMAN SACHS)
A Brief Programming Not
No newsletter this Sunday due to the Christmas holiday. In the meantime:
As we enter the season when every publication is doing its end of the year “Best Of” wrap-ups, the folks at Gizmodo have offered you the opposite: This list of 2022’s Biggest Environmental Ghouls. Consider it a little Grinch-ing to get into the holiday spirit.
Thanks for reading! – Nicole