President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement sparked widespread criticism beyond U.S. borders as well as debate on how best to proceed without Washington’s involvement. The WPR series examines the effects of climate change, and the trends that shape climate policy, in countries around the world.
Lawmakers in the European Parliament rejected three major pieces of climate legislation in a plenary vote held yesterday in Strasbourg, dealing a blow to the European Union’s efforts to meet a 2030 target to reduce carbon emissions by at least 55 percent. The proposals reforming the EU’s carbon market were killed by left-wing lawmakers not because they oppose a carbon border tax, but rather because they argue the legislation had been watered down by a number of industry-friendly amendments tacked on by conservative MEPs. The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, a key component of the EU’s mammoth “Fit for 55” climate legislation [...]
Last week, the United Nations held the Stockholm+50 conference, a two-day international meeting celebrating 50 years of global action on climate change. The first iteration of this event in 1972—the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, which also took place in Stockholm, Sweden—saw countries come together to acknowledge their responsibility to “defend and improve the human environment for present and future generations,” and led to the creation of the U.N. Environment Program, which is still active today. Five decades after that first meeting, Stockholm+50 was intended as an opportunity to reflect on the progress that has been made, and to “springboard” further action toward accomplishing [...]
For decades, market fundamentalists pitted capitalism against environmentalism, as if the global economy could be insulated from shocks to the health and stability of the biosphere. At last, those days are ending, and economists and corporate leaders are recognizing the costs of running down Earth’s natural capital. Last week, the nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs announced that in 2021 alone, “climate change-related natural disasters inflicted nearly $150 billion in damage to America’s economy.” The U.S. plight is part of a broader pattern. On April 26, the United Nations Office of Disaster Risk Reduction, or UNDRR, declared that the world as [...]