Meet climate spy Linda Zall, plus NASA touts new climate satellite. EU announces it’s “Fit for 55,” and Germany & USA go next level green!
Meet Climate Spy Linda Zall, NASA Touts New Climate Satellite, EU Announces It’s “Fit for 55,” Germany & USA Go Next Level Green!
GERMANY AND THE USA ANNOUNCE GLOBAL, NEXT-LEVEL CLIMATE PARTNERSHIP
With July’s unprecedented floods in Germany as a backdrop, The U.S. and Germany launched a partnership to collaborate on climate issues. A fact sheet released by the White House said that the countries will work together to raise global climate ambition, collaborate on developing and deploying energy technologies and boost clean energy in developing countries.
“The United States and Germany will invest in a sustainable economy that drives inclusive growth, supports communities, and creates good jobs and a healthy environment on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond,” the fact sheet said.
The initiative came during German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent visit to the White House. Germany and the U.S., which are among the world’s largest carbon dioxide emitters, set up the partnership that will be co-chaired by climate envoy John Kerry, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Germany’s minister of economic affairs and energy and the European nation’s minister for the environment, nature conservation and nuclear safety.
As part of their global ambition push, the U.S. and Germany will coordinate on climate and trade agendas and mobilize sustainable development financing.
Why This Matters: 190 countries and the EU have now signed onto the Paris agreement and have made pledges to combat and reduce their carbon emissions. But many developing nations lack the funds, resources, and technology to reach their carbon goals in time to halt catastrophic temperature rise and are asking wealthy nations to help them. Biden and Merkel say that international partnerships like this one will empower the goals and capability of all nations while ensuring a thriving economy and earth for all.
DEEPER DIVE: The Hill, WhiteHouse.gov, Clean Energy Wire
EU CLIMATE ACTION AND EU GREEN DEAL
On July 14 2021, the European Commission adopted a series of legislative proposals setting out how it intends to achieve climate neutrality in the EU by 2050, including the intermediate target of an at least 55% net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
As European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen put it, “We already have the goals. We have a climate law which is underpinned by investment. With this proposal, we have the road map.”
The package proposes to revise several pieces of EU climate legislation, including the EU ETS, Effort Sharing Regulation, as well as transportation and land use legislation.
WHAT IS THE EUROPEAN GREEN DEAL AND WHY DOES IT MATTER TO US?
The European Green Deal is an ambitious package of measures ranging from ambitiously cutting greenhouse gas emissions, to investing in cutting-edge research and innovation, to preserving Europe’s natural environment.
Climate action initiatives under the Green Deal include:
- European Climate Law to enshrine the 2050 climate-neutrality objective into EU law
- European Climate Pact to engage citizens and all parts of society in climate action
- 2030 Climate Target Plan to further reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030
- New EU Strategy on Climate Adaptation to make Europe a climate-resilient society by 2050, fully adapted to the unavoidable impacts of climate change.
AND HERE’S WHY IT MATTERS TO US:
By 2050, Europe aims to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent.
By 2050, Europe aims to be a climate-resilient society taking action to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
There it is, people. Europe has thrown the challenge in our faces. So, Europe. Challenge accepted. Because we’re America. We’re number one.
DEEPER DIVE: EC.EUROPA, KLGates, GlobalELR.com
NASA TOUTS NEW CLIMATE-FOCUSED, EARTH OBSERVIING SATELLITE
According to NASA, the space agency will design a new set of Earth-focused missions to provide key information to guide efforts related to climate change, disaster mitigation, fighting forest fires, and improving real-time agricultural processes. With the Earth System Observatory, each satellite will be uniquely designed to complement the others, working in tandem to create a 3D, holistic view of Earth, from bedrock to atmosphere.
In speaking of this new series of missions, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said, “Over the past three decades, much of what we’ve learned about the Earth’s changing climate is built on NASA satellite observations and research. NASA’s new Earth System Observatory will expand that work, providing the world with an unprecedented understanding of our Earth’s climate system, arming us with next-generation data critical to mitigating climate change, and protecting our communities in the face of natural disasters.”
DEEPER DIVE: NASA, ODP, Axios, ScienceMag
LINDA ZALL SPIED FOR THE CLIMATE
Linda Zall played a starring role in American science that led to decades of major advances. Chances are though, you never heard of her. Or of her pioneering work on the Medea task force.
That’s because Linda Zall is an environmental scientist who previously worked for the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Medea Task Force used spy satellites to gather images of Earth to produce valuable, longitudinal (about 20 years’ worth of) environmental data.
For decades, she led a project that produced a steady flow of scientific breakthroughs about climate change, helping to solidify evidence that human activity was causing the planet to heat up. Her work led to hundreds of papers, studies and reports — some classified top secret, some public, some by the National Academy of Sciences, the premier scientific advisory group to the federal government. The accumulated riches included up to six decades of prime data on planetary shifts in snowfall and blizzards, sea ice and glaciers.
But Zall, a high-level CIA scientist, kept the extent of her role a closely guarded secret. “I couldn’t talk to anybody,” she recalls. “Sometimes things would leak and reporters would call CIA public affairs to talk to me, but I never did.”
Recently, Zall decided to break her silence, not for the accolades she would undoubtedly receive, but because it struck her deeply that many scientific colleagues of hers are now dying without getting the recognition she feels they deserve. I’m sure we’ll learn a LOT more from her upcoming book. Stay tuned!!
DEEPER DIVE: Cornell Magazine, Solar1.org