Day: November 2, 2021

Background Briefing: November 2, 2021


COP26 Agreements on Cutting Methane and Ending Deforestation

We begin with the end of the two-day U.N. Climate summit of world leaders and get an assessment of what has been achieved as the U.S. and the E.U. announce a global agreement to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030 along with world leaders agreeing to end and reverse deforestation. Joining us is Andrew Revkin, Director of the Initiative on Communication Innovation & Impact at the Earth Institute of Columbia University who has won most of the top awards in science journalism over a three-decades-long career including 21 years at The New York Times. His books include The Burning Season: The Murder of Chico Mendes and the Fight for the Amazon Rain Forest, Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast, and The Human Planet: Earth at the Dawn of the Anthropocene and he blogs at where his latest article is “Big Oil in the Hot Seat – and Everyone Wins?” We discuss how tackling methane is the low hanging fruit although some of the biggest emitters Russia, China and India did not sign on in a race to stop the increasing levels of methane spewing from fracking, the melting permafrost in Siberia, wetlands, rice paddies and agriculture in particular from cattle.


How Climate Agreements Impact the North-South Divide

Then we look into how the agreements in Glasgow impact the global north-south divide in terms of climate reparations and a pledge not to finance coal-fired electrical generating plants in the Third World. Joining us is Basav Sen, the Climate Justice Project Director at the Institute for Policy Studies and we discuss the impassioned speech by the Prime Minister of Barbados that reflected the injustice of poorer countries bearing the brunt of rising sea levels from pollution caused by the richest countries. 


The Worsening Standoff Between Manchin and Sinema and House Progressives

Then finally we speak with Robert Johnson, the Executive Director of the Institute for New Economic Thinking who was previously Chief Economist of the US Senate Banking Committee and the U.S. Senate Budget Committee. He joins us to discuss the worsening standoff between Senators Manchin and Sinema and the progressives in the House and how a Democratic defeat in the governor’s race in Virginia might be blamed on the progressives as the negotiations drag on further with the possibility that Biden may end up with no deal at all.