Biden boosts wildlife protection efforts previously dialed back

The Biden administration has reinstated protections for at-risk animals and plants, a pivot from previous policies.

Catrin Einhorn reports for The New York Times.


In short:

  • The administration's finalized rules enhance the Endangered Species Act, allowing for more robust protection of species threatened by climate change and other factors.
  • The rules prohibit economic considerations from influencing decisions on species protection, addressing a key concern among environmentalists.
  • Critics, particularly from industry and Republican ranks, argue that these protections could hamper economic activities and are gearing up for legal challenges.

Key quote:

"As species face new and daunting challenges, including climate change, degraded and fragmented habitat, invasive species, and wildlife disease, the Endangered Species Act is more important than ever to conserve and recover imperiled species now and for generations to come.”

— Martha Williams, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Why this matters:

The process of listing a species as endangered or threatened under the ESA involves scientific assessment of its status and threats. However, politics can significantly influence this process and the implementation of protections. Case in point: in 2018, lawmakers wanted the EPA to ignore impacts of pesticides on endangered species.

Plastic recycling's new era faces hurdles

Despite big brands' pledges for a greener future, advanced recycling technology lags in effectiveness.

Hiroko Tabuchi reports forThe New York Times.

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Senator Whitehouse puts climate change on budget committee’s agenda

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Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way
Coast Guard inspects Cameron LNG Facility in preparation for first LNG export in 2019. (Credit: Coast Guard News)

Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way

This 2-part series was co-produced by Environmental Health News and the journalism non-profit Economic Hardship Reporting Project. See part 1 here.Este ensayo también está disponible en español
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EPA's $20 billion venture into clean energy aims to transform communities

The Environmental Protection Agency has launched a $20 billion initiative to support clean-energy projects nationwide, focusing on reducing pollution and advancing climate action, particularly in disadvantaged communities.

Maxine Joselow reports for The Washington Post.

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Rethinking portion sizes and inventory to cut food waste

Artificial intelligence is tackling food waste by analyzing what gets tossed in restaurants and unsold in supermarkets, aiming for a greener future.

Somini Sengupta reports for The New York Times.

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Rainforests might survive after all, says new study

A new study shows that while rainforests continue to face threats, certain areas are seeing a decline in deforestation, offering a glimmer of hope for their future.

Benji Jones reports for Vox.

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New study links a few companies to most emissions since Paris deal

A handful of companies have been identified as major contributors to global emissions post-Paris agreement, with state-owned and multinational corporations at the forefront.

Jonathan Watts reports for The Guardian.

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Oil companies face climate change lawsuits after years of delays
Credit: Ben Kuo/Unsplash

Oil companies face climate change lawsuits after years of delays

After a prolonged battle through the courts, major fossil fuel corporations are poised for trials in a series of lawsuits filed by state and local governments for climate-related damages.

Alex Brown reports for Stateline.

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