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🐊🌴🦋🐋🌈T and R, and Happy Earth Day, Ms. Benny!! 🐊🌴🦋🐋🌈 The American Prospect printed an excellent summary of Andrew Yang’s NYC run. It posted yesterday. ☮️😊👍



A more optimistic view than groups like Sunrise have, but I guess that’s to be expected.


The US goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared with 2005 levels, will take the world closer to the reductions scientists say are necessary to hold global heating within scientifically advised limits, analysis has shown.

The target, announced on Thursday before a virtual summit of more than 40 world leaders hosted by the US president, Joe Biden, would result in emissions reductions of between 1.5 and 2.4 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent a year by 2030, compared with the US’s current expected emissions, according to Climate Action Tracker.

This is the strongest contribution yet made by any major economy, in terms of the amount of carbon to be cut, towards meeting the goals of the 2015 Paris climate agreement of holding global heating well below 2C. However, the target is not sufficient to meet the more ambitious aspiration of the Paris agreement of limiting temperature rises to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

To be in line with a 1.5C temperature rise, the US would need to cut emissions by 57-63% below 2005 levels, said Climate Action Tracker.

The EU has already agreed to cut carbon by 55% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels. The UK is targeting cuts of 68% by 2030 and 78% by 3035, but has substantially lower emissions than the US, at about 2% of global emissions compared with 15% for the US, which is the world’s second biggest emitter after China.

Biden administration hosts virtual climate leaders’ summit – watch live
Niklas Höhne, of NewClimate Institute, one of the two organisations behind Climate Action Tracker, said Biden’s new target would mean the US cutting emissions even faster this decade than the EU is planning to do, when the difference in baselines is taken into account.

“With the new target for 2030 and holding the climate summit, the US has again a leading role in international climate policy,” said Höhne. “Biden proposes to reduce US emissions faster [this decade] than the EU [by 40% and 35% respectively from 2020] albeit from a very high level. Biden is striving for a CO2-free electricity sector by 2035, much earlier than Germany. And Biden proposes a gigantic investment programme for innovative infrastructure. Even more would be required to keep to the 1.5C limit, but the EU and Germany must be careful not to be overtaken by the US on climate policy.”

Climate experts around the world welcomed the US plans. Christiana Figueres, the former UN climate chief in charge of the 2015 Paris agreement, said: “[This] is a reminder of the strength of the Paris agreement. It’s a reminder that we have begun the most exciting economic transformation in human history – a permanent shift away from high carbon to net zero emissions.

“After four years of darkness, we now have an administration taking an all-of-government approach. The US is now the first country whose head of state has asked every single department, every single government agency – transport, energy, interior, security, education, health – to fulfil their responsibilities to US citizens through a climate lens. That is an extraordinary step that should be commended, and emulated by everyone.”

Mohamed Adow, director of the thinktank Power Shift Africa, said: “After four years of ignorant and cowardly climate policy from the White House under Donald Trump, it’s great to see a president who is aware of the need for action and of America’s responsibility to show leadership on this issue. The plan laid out by President Biden is hugely welcome and shows the kind of ambition we need to see from rich, polluting nations. But truth must be told. It still falls short of what is needed from the biggest historical emitter and wealthiest country to stabilise global heating to below 1.5C.”



Indeed, looking at emissions per person tells a different story about which country is doing the most. Currently, the United States uses far more fossil fuels per person than almost any other country in the world, although China is quickly narrowing the gap.

If every country were to meet its stated climate goals, America’s per capita emissions would decline and converge with China’s by 2030, the Rhodium Group estimated. But both countries’ per capita emissions would still be twice that of Europe’s and nearly four times that of India’s.

Partly for that reason, some environmentalists have argued that the United States should have picked an even more ambitious target for reducing emissions. Doing so would not only make up for decades of being by far the world’s largest emitter, they argue, but would also give lower-income countries like India more time to transition off fossil fuels. One recent report by a range of civil society groups urged the United States to commit to a 70 percent cut by 2030, along with vast new funding for clean-energy projects in the developing world.

“If you’re asking whether the U.S. target is fair and ambitious, the right yardstick isn’t what will pass muster with the Senate,” said Sivan Kartha, a senior scientist at the Stockholm Environment Institute and a co-author of the report. “The question is what should the United States do given its capacity to act and its historical responsibility for causing the problem?”

Many Republicans in Congress have argued that the Biden administration is acting too aggressively on climate change when countries like China and India have yet to commit to absolute emissions cuts. Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming, said that the president was “unilaterally committing America to a drastic and damaging emissions pledge” that would punish the U.S. economy while “America’s adversaries like China and Russia continue to increase emissions at will.”

The Biden administration’s calculus is that it should set a target that is both challenging to meet but also politically plausible. By doing so, officials say, they can persuade other countries to do more — both through diplomatic pressure and by driving down the cost of new low-carbon technologies, such as electric vehicles or hydrogen fuels, to make it easier for other countries to act.



Unlike in previous years, a progressive group has decided to deliver a formal response to President Joe Biden’s first address to a joint session of Congress next week.

It’s traditional for the opposition party to give a response when the president delivers a State of the Union or other address to Congress. But it’s much less common for a member of the president’s party to deliver a rebuttal.

Next week, Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., speaking on behalf of the left-wing Working Families Party, will respond after Biden gives his first address to a joint session of Congress.

Bowman, a freshman lawmaker who defeated a 16-term Democratic incumbent in a primary in a New York City district last year, said the response is intended not to be critical of Biden but rather to credit him as appropriate and cue him for what the left wants to see next.

“It’s a balancing act. He’s already done a lot that I love. And he’s going to say a lot of things that I like, as well,” Bowman said in an interview. “But if we relent, it doesn’t mean that what’s been going on so far is going to continue. It’s important for us as progressives to continue to push and continue to organize.”


I wonder who The GQP will trot out for their response, That might be good for a laugh



Even half of the dividends/buybacks would fund a lot of inoculations


Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca—three of the world’s top coronavirus vaccine manufacturers—have paid out a combined $26 billion in dividends and stock buybacks to their shareholders over the past year, a sum that could fully fund the cost of inoculating Africa’s entire 1.3 billion-person population.

That’s according to an analysis released Thursday morning by the People’s Vaccine Alliance, a coalition of advocacy organizations campaigning to end massive inequities in the distribution of life-saving coronavirus vaccines.

Unveiled just ahead of Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson’s annual shareholder meetings on Thursday, the new report notes that Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are projecting revenues of $33.5 billion this year from their mRNA vaccines, which have largely been sold to rich nations.

“One of the reasons Pharma companies have been able to generate such large profits is because of intellectual property rules that restrict production to a handful of companies,” the report notes, alluding to an international agreement that bars generic manufacturers from replicating vaccine formulas.

Wealthy countries, including the U.S. and European Union members, are standing in the way of an effort to temporarily waive the rules at the World Trade Organization.

“These vaccines were funded by public money and are desperately needed worldwide if we are to end this pandemic,” Heidi Chow, senior campaigns and policy manager at Global Justice Now, said in a statement. “It’s morally bankrupt for rich country leaders to allow a small group of corporations to keep the vaccine technology and know-how under lock and key while selling their limited doses to the highest bidder.”

The new analysis estimates that Pfizer and BioNTech received a total of $2.5 billion in public funding for their vaccine, and that Pfizer has paid out $8.44 billion in dividends over the past 12 months. Johnson & Johnson, which received $1.5 billion in public money, paid out $10.5 billion in dividends.