Sustainability Reads: November 10- November 16

What the big U.S.-China climate deal means for Obama’s last two years
As this piece outlines, the new deal between US and China is major, paving the way for an international agreement in Paris in 2015 on climate change. Although this deal won’t solve the political problem of opposition from Republicans (and coal-state Democrats), President Obama’s deal with China will take away one of their key arguments: that the US can’t sign on to anything until China is involved. This is the first time the premier of China has agreed to set an upper limit on emissions and announced it internationally, and having both the world’s largest emitters cooperate on this issue is a key step forward.  By Philip Bump at the Washington Post.

G20 big oil billions “undermines” climate action
A new report by the Overseas Development Institute says that governments are spending US$88 billion a year (twice as much as the top 20 fossil fuel companies) in the looking for carbon intensive fuels. Despite the fact that governments have been claiming that they are curbing fossil fuel subsidies and new fossil fuel exploration, this report demonstrates that development of new oil, gas and coal holdings is still occurring. In order to avoid warming above 2C, new holdings of fossil fuels cannot be burnt. Most of the high-risk drilling that is being proposed (such as in the Arctic) can only be done with government support. By Ed King at

A proposal to save the middle class … by cutting carbon pollution
By David Roberts at


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