UK Climate Diplomacy Staff Cut Again as Post-Brexit Links to Trump and US Deniers Strengthen

Read time: 3 mins

With Donald Trump set to become the President of the United States, the international climate change political scenery has shifted.

The president-elect’s stance on “quitting” the Paris Agreement seems to have softened in recent days. But countries are still going to need strong diplomatic teams to shore-up the global commitment to tackling climate change, reiterated at the Marrakech climate talks last week.

So it’s notable that the UK’s climate diplomacy team appears to weakening.

For the second year in a row, the foreign office reduced the number of people working on climate change and energy, documents released by the government this week under a freedom of information request show.

Trump Admin Bypasses Congress, Offers Backup Storage to Boost Troubled Oil Industry

Read time: 10 mins
Donald Trump at a refinery in North Dakota in 2017

After Congress declined to allocate $3 billion of the recent economic stimulus package to fill the government’s emergency stockpile of oil, the Trump administration has taken its own steps to provide short-term relief to the U.S. petroleum sector. 

The Department of Energy announced last week it would be making arrangements to immediately store 30 million barrels of oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), a backup reserve created in the 1970s as a buffer against oil supply disruptions. Now, instead of supply shortages, oil markets are facing what consulting firm Rystad Energy is calling “one of the biggest oil supply gluts the world has ever seen.”

For Trump’s EPA, Back to Normal Means More Pollution

Read time: 6 mins
Streets of downtown Tacoma, WA, during the COVID-19 outbreak

This story originally appeared in Capital & Main and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration committed to strengthening coverage of the climate story.

By , Capital & Main.

If you, like me, tote an albuterol inhaler throughout your city’s smoggy summers and inversioned winters, you might have noticed an ironic, upbeat side effect of the nation’s mass grounding: It’s noticeably easier to breathe. It’s also easier, in this time when many of us have nowhere to go, to get to places. Traffic maps of typically congested U.S. cities show ribbons of green from one sunrise to the next: Rush hours have evaporated; sig alerts — a regular feature for California commuters — are suddenly rare.

Workers and Climate Must Be Priority in Aviation Industry Bailouts, Campaigners Say

Read time: 5 mins
Aviation protest

Any public money used to bailout airlines must ensure that workers and the climate are put first, says an open letter backed by over 250 organisations in 25 countries.

The campaign, launched yesterday by the Stay Grounded network, is urging governments to avoid rushing into bailouts which lack social and environmental conditions or proper protection for workers.

COVID-19 Fears Intensified for New Mexico Family Living in Fracking Industry’s Shadow

Read time: 10 mins
Penny Aucoin, Carl George, and their daughter Skyler in front of their home in New Mexico’s Permian Basin.

Penny Aucoin and her husband Carl Dee George have worried about living near oil and gas producing sites in New Mexico's Permian Basin since the sites began springing up near their home six years ago. They have wondered what effect the industrial pollution might have on them and their son and daughter — even more so now with the COVID-19 pandemic — but with no money to pick up and relocate, they have remained in their home.  


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