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Amazon emissions increased 18% last year as Covid drove online shopping surge

By Annie Palmer

Amazon’s carbon emissions jumped 18% last year, as the company reckoned with a pandemic-driven surge in e-commerce and grew its business to meet that extra demand.
In its annual sustainability report issued Monday, Amazon said its activities emitted the equivalent of 71.54 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2021. That’s up 18% from 2020, and an increase of nearly 40% from 2019, the year Amazon first began disclosing its carbon footprint.


Carbon pricing and COVID-19

By Daniel Nachtigall and Jane Ellis

This paper assesses the role of carbon pricing in a sustainable recovery from COVID-19. It tracks the policy changes in carbon pricing within OECD and G20 countries between January 2020 and August 2021 of the COVID-19 pandemic. Carbon pricing as defined here includes emissions trading schemes, fossil fuel support and carbon, fuel excise or aviation taxes. The paper also highlights the need for the recovery to be sustainable and discusses the advantages, limitations and uses of carbon pricing therein. In addition, it describes additional challenges to as well as increased rationale for carbon pricing in the pandemic. It provides evidence on the effects of carbon pricing on the challenges and discusses carbon pricing design elements to help overcome those challenges. The paper concludes that there were more policy changes with an expected negative impact on climate. However, it is likely that the impact of the climate-positive changes – which are broader in coverage and scope – will outweigh the climate-negative changes.


We’re No More Serious about the Climate Crisis Than We Were before the Pandemic

By Samantha Montano

Disaster researchers are used to seeing train wrecks coming. We study the worst moments in human history—their warning signs, failures, destruction, pain, corruption and injustice—so that we can lessen the hurt. But the scale of the pandemic, and the response to it, shook even the most practiced among us.


The pandemic has been great for electric car sales

By Anna Cooban

Electric vehicles grabbed a much bigger share of the global car market last year as sales more than doubled despite turbulent economic conditions and a severe shortage of computer chips.


Did Climate Change Influence the Emergence, Transmission, and Expression of the COVID-19 Pandemic?’

By Saloni Guptac and Barry T. Rouse

Countries have begun to prioritize health in their efforts to protect people from the impact of climate change, but only about a quarter of those recently surveyed by the World Health Organization have been able to fully implement their national health and climate change plans or strategies. Countries report that a lack of funding; the impact of COVID-19; and insufficient human resource capacity are major barriers to progress.


Personal hardship narrows the partisan gap in COVID-19 and climate change responses

By Elke U. Weber

In highly polarized political environments like the United States, people interpret health and environmental issues through a partisan lens. Democrats have been more concerned about COVID-19 and more willing to socially distance than Republicans—resulting in a substantial partisan gap in concern, action, and policy support.


Societal shifts due to COVID-19 reveal large-scale complexities and feedbacks between atmospheric chemistry and climate change

By Joshua L. Laughner and others

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns caused significant changes to human activity that temporarily altered our imprint on the atmosphere, providing a brief glimpse of potential future changes in atmospheric composition. This event demonstrated key feedbacks within and between air quality and the carbon cycle: Improvements in air quality increased the lifetime of methane (an important greenhouse gas), while unusually hot weather and intense wildfires in Los Angeles drove poor air quality.


New Museum Triennial Explores the Hidden Strengths of Soft Power

By Holland Cotter

The New Museum’s fifth Triennial exhibition, titled “Soft Water Hard Stone,” is largely a product of lockdown. Much of the work by 40 international artists and collectives was made during the past two pandemic-strapped years. And it has, overall, a hoarded, shut-in feel. Colors are muted. Materials are scrappy, unpretty. (Concrete turns up a lot). Scale is generally small, and of the few monumental pieces, most are sculptures or installations in break-downable formats.


Pandemic Complicates Preparations for COP26 Climate Summit

By Somini Sengupta and Lisa Friedman

In a few weeks, an estimated 20,000 ministers, activists and executives from nearly every country in the world are set to descend on Glasgow to hammer out how to make progress on climate change.


WHO’s 10 calls for climate action to assure sustained recovery from COVID-19

Countries must set ambitious national climate commitments if they are to sustain a healthy and green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.