Sustainability Reads: April 13- April 19

Congress Has Made Undermining Energy And Environmental Laws The Focus Of Its First 100 Days
According to a new report by the Center for American Progress, the 114th Congress has cast more roll call votes on energy and environmental issues than on any other issue. Many of these votes sought to undermine environmental protections or fast track projects like the Keystone XL pipeline, but none of them have become law. Thus far, the Republican-controlled Congress’ “fossil fuel-focused agenda” has not fared well although oil, gas, and coal companies spent more than $720 million to help elect members of congress that were friendly to its agenda. Of these environmental issues, the Keystone XL Pipeline was focused on specifically by Congress, as new majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made Keystone XL his first order of business in the new year. By Katie Valentine at ThinkProgress.

Thirty years on, scientist who discovered ozone layer hole warns: ‘it will still take years to heal’
One of the UK scientist that discovered the ozone hole exactly 30 years ago in 1985 has recently warned that the CFCs emitted into the atmosphere will take a long time to dissipate and it will probably take “well into the second half of the century before the ozone layer recovers fully.” The scientist, Jon Shanklin, also stated that the discovery of the ozone hole shows how incredibly rapidly “we can produce major changes to our atmosphere and how long it takes for nature to recover from them”. By Robin McKie at The Guardian.

United States, Canada, and Mexico Submit North American HFC Phase Down Amendment to Montreal Protocol
On another note, the U.S., Mexico and Canada have recently made an amendment to the Montreal Protocol (which was designed to reduce ozone destructive pollutants), called the North American Amendment. The proposed amendment calls on all countries to take action to reduce their consumption and production of HFCs. If adopted, the amendment could yield benefits through 2050 of over 90 gigatons of carbon dioxide-equivalent reductions, roughly equal to two years of current global annual anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases.

BP dropped green energy projects worth billions to focus on fossil fuels
An investigation by the Guardian has established that BP is doing far less now on developing low-carbon technologies than it was in the 1980s and early 1990s. Despite having spent billions on low-carbon technology and green energy the company has gradually retired this research and programs “to focus almost exclusively on its fossil fuel business”. Instead of sharing this research, BP has actually locked it away in a BP archive based in a library at Warwick University. It seems its new slogan “Beyond Petroleum” does not actually an accurate representative. By Terry Macalister at The Guardian.

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