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Court Blocks a Vast Alaskan Drilling Project, Citing Climate Dangers
Last week, a federal judge in Alaska blocked the construction permits for an expansion drilling project on the state’s North Slope, which was designed with the capacity to produce as much as 100 thousand barrels of oil per day for the next 30 years. Initially, the multibillion-dollar plan has been approved by the Trump administration and legally backed-up by Biden’s administration; however, environmental groups sued, stating that the federal government failed to take into account the negative impacts of the project on local wildlife as well as global greenhouse gas emissions. Fortunately, the federal judge of Alaska agreed.
“This is a resounding win for our clients and the climate,” Jeremy Lieb, a lawyer for Earthjustice, which represented multiple plaintiffs in the suit against the Trump administration’s approval of the project, wrote in an email. “The court’s decision vacates the Trump administration’s decision approving the Willow project, and we hope the Biden administration takes this opportunity to reconsider the project in light of its commitment to address the climate emergency.”
If we want to reach net zero emissions by mid-century to combat climate change, governments need to carefully consider the climate impact of their decisions.
A 1980s ban on CFCs to heal the ozone layer is also shaving degrees off global warming, study says
Fortunately in the 1980s, the world decided to ban the use of CFCs, the chemicals used in the past in aerosol sprays, refrigeration and air conditioning. A new study published in the journal of Nature shows that the world would be on the verge of a collapse of the ozone layer and would suffer from 2.5°C of global warming by the end of the century if it wasn't for this ban.
The agreement was initially signed in 1987 during the Montreal Protocol by dozens of countries and is now respected by all UN member states.
As stated by Paul Young, an atmospheric and climate scientist from Lancaster University, “while international climate negotiations coming up in Glasgow in November would be more complex than banning CFCs, the quick response to the problem was a good example of how effective international climate agreements can be.”
Although the ozone layer problem was simpler because a handful of companies were producing the chemicals responsible for it, it shows how effective countries can come together to solve a problem. This is a great example that should inspire nations to join together and tackle the climate crisis.
Australia faces international punishment for lagging on climate change action, former UN chief warns
The former UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon has declared Australia "out of step" with the world on tackling climate change. International pressure grows on the federal government to do more to limit global warming.
Although nations around the world have made climate commitments, Australia’s government has refused to join other countries in setting net zero emissions targets. The international community has been pressing the Prime Minister to increase its climate ambitions and join other countries in the fight against climate change.
“While NSW's Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the state by about 90 million tonnes, it has also approved eight coal and gas projects in the past three years which will emit about 89 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over their lifetimes.”
As Australia will have to update its emission reduction plan during COP26, pressure both internally and externally will hopefully push the country to set ambitious reductions targets and climate targets.