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Technology

A New Coalition Is Pushing Governments to Make More Ambitious Climate Plans

On Mission 2025, Heirloom’s new facility, and geoengineering’s unintended consequences

A New Coalition Is Pushing Governments to Make More Ambitious Climate Plans
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

Excessive rainfall in the Swiss Alps triggered a landslide • Power was restored in the Balkans following a massive outage that left people sweltering • Flood waters are receding in Rock Valley, Iowa, after 1,500 people were forced to evacuate.

THE TOP FIVE

1. ‘Mission 2025’ coalition launches to encourage governments to improve climate plans

A group of influential leaders across business and politics have formed a new coalition, called Mission 2025, aimed at pressuring governments to “align their upcoming national climate plans with the Paris Agreement target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.” These plans, known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs), outline how countries will cut their emissions. There is a February 2025 deadline for new, updated NDCs to be submitted to the United Nations, so Mission 2025 is pushing governments to set ambitious goals. The coalition points to recent data showing that more than two-thirds of annual revenues across the world’s largest companies are now aligned with net zero, which is an increase of 45% over the last two years. Backers of Mission 2025 include IKEA, Unilever, Mastercard, and the heads of C40 Cities, among others. The coalition is spearheaded by Christiana Figueres, who helped shepherd leaders toward the Paris Agreement in 2015 and is now the co-founder of nonprofit Global Optimism. “The launch of Mission 2025 today is a clear rebuttal to everyone claiming that moving faster on tackling the climate crisis is too difficult, too unpopular or too expensive,” Figueres said.

2. Heirloom will move a giant DAC project to Shreveport

Bay Area-based carbon removal company Heirloom announced today that it’s moving its half of the Department of Energy-funded Project Cypress DAC hub from coastal Calcasieu Parish inland to Shreveport — and that it will be building a second facility, capable of removing 17,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, on the same site. As Heatmap’s Kate Brigham reported, once the two facilities reach full scale, they will have the capacity to suck up a combined 317,000 metric tons of CO2 per year. Project Cypress is a partnership between Heirloom, the Swiss DAC company Climeworks, and project developer Battelle. As per the initial plan, Climeworks will still build out its portion of Project Cypress in southwest Louisiana, and together with Heirloom’s Shreveport plant, the two facilities will pull a combined megaton of CO2 out of the atmosphere every year. Heirloom expects its new 17,000 ton facility to be operational by 2026, while its larger Project Cypress plant is planned to come online in 2027. Initially, this larger facility will remove 100,000 metric tons of CO2 annually, eventually ramping up to 300,000 metric tons. For both projects, Heirloom is partnering with the carbon management company CapturePoint to permanently sequester CO2 in underground wells.

3. Hajj death toll hits 1,300

The death toll from this year’s Hajj keeps climbing. Saudi Arabia now says at least 1,300 people died during the pilgrimage, which took place during an extreme heat wave. Temperatures in the holy city of Mecca reached 125 degrees Fahrenheit at one point. “May Allah forgive and have mercy on the deceased,” Health Minister Fahd Al-Jalajel said. Meanwhile, at least 1,400 heat records were set last week as temperatures soared across five continents. In the U.S., more than 100 million people were under heat warnings as of Sunday. The East Coast is getting some relief, but a heat dome is now situated over states in the Plains and the South and the heat index could reach 110.

Weather.gov/NOAA

4. Study suggests West Coast geoengineering projects would bake Europe

A new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change found that geoengineering projects off the West Coast of the U.S. could inadvertently lead to more intense heat waves over Europe. The paper examines “marine cloud brightening,” which would involve spraying aerosol particles into the atmosphere to reflect solar radiation. The researchers concluded that this process would indeed lower temperatures in Western states, but only temporarily. By 2050, if temperatures increase by 2 degrees Celsius, the researchers’ models suggest cloud brightening would be ineffective and would actually lead to temperature increases in Europe.

5. EU and China to negotiate over EV tariffs

China and the European Union agreed during a call on Saturday to negotiate over the EU’s planned tariffs on Chinese EVs. EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis and his Chinese counterpart Wang Wentao had a “candid and constructive” discussion that ended with an agreement to “engage at all levels.” The EU has threatened levies as high as 48% and accused China of unfairly subsidizing its EV production. Bloombergreported that China hinted that Germany’s luxury carmakers could benefit from relaxed tariffs in China if Berlin “convinces” the EU to drop its tariffs. The discussions come weeks after President Biden announced that U.S. tariffs on electric vehicles made in China will quadruple from 25% to 100%.

THE KICKER

Researchers have created a new kind of fabric that they claim can keep wearers up to 16 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than traditional silk.

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Jessica  Hullinger profile image

Jessica Hullinger

Jessica Hullinger is a freelance writer and editor who likes to think deeply about climate science and sustainability. She previously served as Global Deputy Editor for The Week, and her writing has been featured in publications including Fast Company, Popular Science, and Fortune. Jessica is originally from Indiana but lives in London.

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One of the most vulnerable states in the U.S. wants nothing to do with “climate change.”

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The South Florida ClimateReady Tech Hub did not, in the end, eliminate climate from its name. But while Governor Ron DeSantis might not approve, the federal government didn’t seem to mind, as the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration awarded the hub $19.5 million to “advance its global leadership in sustainable and resilient infrastructure.”

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The train delays have affected an especially large population. The Northeast Corridor is the most trafficked commuter rail system in the country, with over 750,000 daily commuters. In late June, Amtrak notified customers that trains in the corridor could face delays of up to an hour in the coming weeks as heat interfered with tracks and overhead power lines. Since it issued that warning, tens of thousands of people have experienced heat-related delays.

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Current conditions: Torrential rain brought flash flooding to Toronto • A wildfire on the Hawaiian island of Kauai has been contained • Parts of southern Spain could hit 111 degrees Fahrenheit this week.

THE TOP FIVE

1. Intense heat waves and thunderstorms torment millions of Americans

The extreme heat wave over the East Coast may very well break a record in Washington, D.C., today that was set during the 1930s Dust Bowl: the longest stretch of days with temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The mercury yesterday hit 104 degrees, after similarly scorching numbers on Monday and Sunday, tying the existing record of three days. The National Weather Service forecasts a high of 98 degrees for Wednesday but The Washington Post said there’s “an outside chance that it hits 100 (or higher).” Either way, with humidity at 55%, it will feel torturously hot, with a potential heat index of 110 degrees. An “Extended Heat Emergency” is in effect in the city through today. Nearly 75 major cities across the Northeast, South, and Southwest are currently facing dangerous heat levels, according to The New York Times.

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