All through the night on Friday and into the wee hours of Saturday morning (March 22-23)—while many of us were sleeping—the US Senate voted on dozens of amendments and finally passed a blueprint for next year’s federal budget (S. Con. Res. 8). ICYMI: There were some important climate-related votes you should know about.
The controversy over the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) aviation rule continued to escalate last week. The rule came into effect on January 1, 2012, and requires all airlines to account for greenhouse gas emissions flying to and from the EU regardless of point of origin. In the US, Congress took action against the E.U. policy in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) bill, which passed the House and Senate in early February not on the same day.
This week we’ve kept our feature short and hope you will take a moment or two and fill out a quick survey about the Climate Action Hotline brought to you weekly by US Climate Action Network. Our goal is to bring you relevant climate and energy news of the week and to direct you, our members, to the key developments and action opportunities as well as keep our international colleagues informed of the US situation.
The good new is that House and Senate finally passed the more than $1 trillion dollar omnibus spending bill Thursday night and most of the egregious attacks on public health and the environment were left out. However, there were some notable dirty riders such as a step backward by repealing energy efficiency standards for light bulbs. Unfortunately, this bill also included provisions for exempting Arctic drilling from critical Clean Air Act standards which is not only bad for the environment but also the wrong way to legislate decisions like those.
The COP 17 climate talks in Durban ended on Sunday December 11th, making it the longest COP in the history of the UN climate talks. Delegates worked into the wee hours of Sunday to broker a deal that renewed the Kyoto Protocol and set into motion a Durban Roadmap. The Durban Roadmap for the first time in the history of the UNFCCC sets up a process to negotiate a comprehensive and balanced legal instrument to avert climate change; the legal instrument which would come into force by 2020.
Last Wednesday, leaders of sixteen major nonprofit organizations sent a letter to Secretary of State Clinton expressing concerns that U.S. negotiators are blocking progress at the COP17 climate talks in Durban, South Africa. Signers of the letter included: Center for International Environmental Law, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Environmental Defense Fund, Greenpeace USA, National Tribal Environmental Council, Native American Rights Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Oxfam America, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Population Action International, Population Connection, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, The Wilderness Society, World Wildlife Fund.
Yesterday, the 17th Conference of Parties (COP 17) to the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) began in Durban, South Africa. The UN Climate Talks will span two weeks and include delegates from 194 countries but also hundreds of public interest organizations and thousands of activists from around the world will join them to advocate for a fair, ambitious and binding agreement that will reduce global emissions, build vulnerable nations’ resilience to climate change and foster a low-carbon green economy globally.
Report Released and Impacts Leading Up to Durban November 21, 2011 One week from now, more than 190 nations will gather in Durban, South Africa for this year’s United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 17th Conference of Parties (COP) in Durban, South Africa. The conference is expected to be a critical juncture for […]
Owning Up: Taking Responsibility Before Durban November 14, 2011 As we paid tribute to our Armed Forces this week, the climate community celebrated an extraordinary victory for the health, safety and security of this country’s future; a future that America’s men and women in the military fight to protect every day, both at home and […]
Fighting for a Better Future November 7, 2011 “YES WE CAN!” chanted a huge crowd in Lafayette Park in front of the White House as President Obama’s motorcade passed by Sunday evening. This symbolic gesture was a great conclusion to the momentous collaborative action that had just occurred. Only minutes before, approximately 12,000 people had […]