The beacon of sustainable finance in Europe must not lose its flame | EURACTIV.com


It’s been exactly a year since the HLEG released its Final Report. The long-awaited recommendations were well received and highlighted the critical role of public policy in shifting capital flows to support the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and Agenda 2030.

A few short months later, the European Commission released its Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth and soon after released the three legislative proposals that have shaped the progression of work since then, covering the disclosure of sustainability risks, a pan-European taxonomy to classify environmentally friendly activities, and low-carbon benchmarks.

However, other HLEG proposals are lagging somewhat behind. The work on investors’ duties, which covers a whole set of recommendations as to how sustainability risks should be integrated in investment decisions is one example. We did not see the omnibus proposal recommended by the HLEG, and work on this topic is progressing slowly.

Source: The beacon of sustainable finance in Europe must not lose its flame – EURACTIV.com

CO2 removals ‘increasingly necessary’ to avoid climate disaster, scientists warn | EURACTIV.com


As global emissions continue to rise, hopes of containing the planet’s warming “well below 2°C” – the headline target of the Paris Agreement – are fading by the day, according to a new report by the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC).

This means carbon removal technologies “will need to take on increased importance in the EU’s climate change strategy this year and in the near future,” EASAC said in a new report published on Tuesday.

Source: CO2 removals ‘increasingly necessary’ to avoid climate disaster, scientists warn – EURACTIV.com

Is the Future of Grocery Shopping B.Y.O. Container? | EcoWatch


If you think this is going to be yet another column admonishing you for not doing enough to curb the amount of single-use plastic in our waste stream, you can relax. You don’t need a lecture at this point.

You might already know, for instance, that global consumer culture has generated more than 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic since the middle of the last century, and that we currently produce 300 million tons of it a year, half of which is made up of items used only once.

And you’re probably aware that roughly 8 million metric tons of this discarded plastic ends up in the ocean, where it threatens marine life of all kinds. It’s unlikely anyone needs to tell you that every year we throw enough plastic away to circle the planet four times, or that a mass of plastic waste floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is three times the size of France.

Source: Is the Future of Grocery Shopping B.Y.O. Container? – EcoWatch

Land Bill’s Passage Signals GOP Shift on Conservation | US News


Privatization and devolution were once central planks in the Republican Party platform on federal lands, but the Senate’s 92-8 vote for a sprawling conservation package that carried broad GOP support appears to signal a shift in the party’s public stance.

For decades, Republican lawmakers openly called for handing federal control of public lands to state and local agencies, which they said would restore the country’s natural wilderness to the residents who live closest to it.

Environmental and conservation groups, by contrast, warned that such a move would grant the oil, gas and coal sectors far greater influence over regulators and policy makers.

Whether because of rising alarm over climate change or other factors, concerns about conservation now seem to hold sway.

Source: Land Bill’s Passage Signals GOP Shift on Conservation | National News | US News

RIP NASA’s Opportunity rover. Here’s what it saw during its 14 years on Mars | Vox


Eight months ago, NASA lost contact with the Opportunity rover on Mars, which had been exploring the planet’s surface since 2004. The solar-powered rover got trapped in a massive dust storm, which blotted out the sun, its source of energy. And after the storm cleared, Opportunity — affectionately called “Oppy” — didn’t “wake” back up.

NASA announced Wednesday that it will not be hearing from the robot ever again.

Source: RIP NASA’s Opportunity rover. Here’s what it saw during its 14 years on Mars – Vox

Norway gives go-ahead to disputed Arctic copper mine | Reuters


Norway’s government approved on Thursday the building of a copper mine near Europe’s northernmost point despite years of opposition from indigenous Sami herders and fishermen.

Norway’s decision on the copper mine has been viewed as a litmus test for the Arctic, where climate change and technology are enabling mineral and energy extraction, shipping and tourism, but threatening traditional ways of life.

Source: Norway gives go-ahead to disputed Arctic copper mine | Reuters

We’ve got this mountain of trash – why don’t we ski down it? | Reuters


What to do with the mountain of garbage a major metropolitan area produces is an age-old question. Copenhagen has come up with a brand-new answer: ski down the mountain.

Designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, the plant is an important step in Copenhagen’s ambition to become the world’s first carbon-neutral capital. It’s an attempt to build a waste-treatment plant that local residents are happy to see come to their neighborhood. It seems to be working.

“It’s a fantastic experience in the middle of a city to be able to do what you do like the most,” said visiting skier Pelle Hansen. “Instead of having to go six, seven, eight or ten hours to a ski destination, you can be here in ten minutes.”

Source: We’ve got this mountain of trash – why don’t we ski down it? | Reuters

California wildfires: 149 million dead trees are a big risk | Vox


According to the US Forest Service’s latest aerial survey of federal, state, and private land in California, 18 million trees throughout the state died in 2018, bringing the state’s total number of dead trees to more than 147 million.

The concern is these trees could be matchsticks for another conflagration, or that the decaying timber could maim a hiker, a ranger, or a firefighter.

Source: California wildfires: 149 million dead trees are a big risk – Vox

Senate backs biggest conservation bill in a decade, protecting millions of acres of land and adding four national monuments | Chicago Tribune


The Senate on Tuesday passed the most sweeping conservation legislation in a decade, protecting millions of acres of land and hundreds of miles of wild rivers across the country and establishing four new national monuments honoring heroes including Civil War soldiers and a civil rights icon.

The 662-page measure, which passed 92 to 8, represented an old-fashioned approach to dealmaking that has largely disappeared on Capitol Hill. Senators from across the ideological spectrum celebrated home-state gains and congratulated each other for bridging the partisan divide.

“It touches every state, features the input of a wide coalition of our colleagues, and has earned the support of a broad, diverse coalition of many advocates for public lands, economic development, and conservation,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

It’s a paradoxical win for conservation at a time when President Donald Trump has promoted development on public lands and scaled back safeguards established by his predecessors.

Source: Senate backs biggest conservation bill in a decade, protecting millions of acres of land and adding four national monuments – Chicago Tribune

‘This hurts’: On El Chapo’s home turf, some lament Mexican drug lord’s conviction | Reuters

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News of the conviction of Mexico’s legendary crime boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman traveled quickly on Tuesday to his rugged home state, where people said they felt pain for a man some described as a fallen folk hero and community benefactor.

Guzman was found guilty of smuggling tonnes of drugs into the United States over a decades-long career built on deadly intimidation and bloody turf wars as he moved illicit shipments across continents at lightning speed.

“Trafficking drugs will continue,” said Gildardo Velazquez in Cuiliacan, the state’s humid capital. “Nobody can stop it. Even now that they’ll give him the life sentence they think he deserves, it’s not going to change anything here.”

Source: ‘This hurts’: On El Chapo’s home turf, some lament Mexican drug lord’s conviction | Reuters