Here there be dragons

Xi Jinping, Global Shield, methane superpolluters, Ben Jealous


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Murphy the Komodo dragon, at the National Zoo

U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in person in Indonesia for the Group of 20 (G20) talks on Monday, agreeing to restart bilateral climate talks that had broken down three months ago amid economic and military saber-rattling by the two carbon superpowers. Brazil—now led by Lula—Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo signed a joint statement to collaborate on rainforest protection at the talks, which are overlapping with the COP27 climate negotiations in Egypt.

Also expected at the G20: an announcement of $15 billion in support for Indonesia to shut down its coal-fired power plants.

A modest insurance fund for climate disasters with a grandiloquent name—the Global Shield against Climate Risks—has been announced by the wealthy G7 nations, led by Germany, on behalf of the “Vulnerable 20” nations as a bid to address the loss-and-damage demands of the Global South. “The first recipients of Global Shield packages – called Pathfinder countries – include Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Fiji, Ghana, Pakistan, the Philippines and Senegal.”

Murphy is pleased.

The oil and gas industry’s purported efforts to cut methane leaks are total trash, as is the official Environmental Protection Agency accounting of methane pollution. Climate Nexus’s Hunter Cutting has released an invaluable website tracking the reams of scientific studies on the true scope of industrial methane pollution. Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a new proposed rule to finally tamp down on methane pollution from the oil and gas industry—notably providing support for citizen reporting of methane superpolluters. The EPA is holding trainings on November 17 and 30 for environmental justice communities, Tribal Nations, and small businesses on the proposed rule.

Murphy is better at detecting methane leaks than the EPA.

This morning, Agriculture Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small testifies before the Senate on rural development and energy programs in the 2023 farm bill, and Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) chairs a hearing on U.S. foreign assistance to the climate-disaster-wracked continent of Africa.

The Freeport LNG plant that closed down after an explosion in June is not opening this month as the company previously claimed it would. Also, it’s fighting off viral fake tweets. Oops!

Q: How do you feed a Komodo? A: Very, very, carefully

Congratulations to former NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous, the new executive director of the Sierra Club.

Hearings on the Hill:

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