Covering Climate Now’s extended joint coverage week, themed “Living Through the Climate Emergency,” was a powerful exercise in public spirited journalism. Even amid other urgent news events—namely, the trial of Derek Chauvin and a still lingering (in some locations, surging) pandemic—our partners showed audiences the human side of the climate emergency. The message—that climate change is already taking its toll but that we have the solutions to reverse humanity’s current destructive trend—rang loud and clear.
Throughout the week, partners big and small told powerful, human-centered stories, detailing how climate is intersecting with schools, transportation, healthcare, housing, homelessness, farming, food, migration, and just about every other aspect of social life. Stories detailed environmental devastation faced by Indigenous tribes in the US—and also the hope some tribes are finding by implementing climate solutions. They covered activists we know and others we might not, who continue to fight for a safer and more equal planet, even when confronted with extreme adversity. Collectively, the stories demonstrated what we say so often at CCNow: that climate change is a story for every beat in the newsroom.
We’re still gathering information and data on the coverage, but CCNow partners should feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment. We’re impressed by the range of stories our partners executed and grateful for the leadership they demonstrated. We’ll be out soon with a full report, but for now, on our website, we highlight a few of the pieces we loved from the week. For many more, be sure to check the hashtag #ClimateEmergencyWeek, which partners, journalists, and audience members used throughout the coverage period to share content and engage in conversation.
In the coming weeks, expect this newsletter to return to our usual programming, including media analysis, round-ups of the latest and greatest coverage, and industry developments, including climate-focused jobs and events.
**To our partners, especially: please remember that CCNow is more than just these special coverage weeks. CCNow is active year-round, helping journalists boost their coverage of the climate story. Keep an eye out for our media analysis, reporting resources, and signature “Talking Shop” events. Also, consider joining our Slack workspace, where journalists are chatting, brainstorming, collaborating, and more; to join, send an email to our engagement editor, Mekdela Maskal: mekdela@coveringclimatenow.
NEW AND RECENT FROM CCNOW:
Climate Emergency Statement. To kick off the joint coverage event, CCNow and eight of our leading partners released a joint statement recognizing that humanity faces a “climate emergency.” For Scientific American, editor Mark Fishcetti explained his magazine’s decision to sign the statement: “Journalism should reflect what science says: the climate emergency is here.” We still welcome your outlet’s backing for the statement! Read and sign our statement…
SOME OF THE WEEK’S ESSENTIAL CLIMATE COVERAGE:
There has been no shortage of strong content over the past two weeks, but here are just a few recent stories we hope you didn’t miss:
President Biden’s climate summit last week brought a host of new commitments from world leaders, following on the heels of Biden’s own pledge to cut US emissions at least in half by 2030, compared with 2005 levels. Japan announced plans to reduce emissions by 46%; South Korea pledged to end state-funding of coal projects; Canada raised its fossil fuel emissions reduction target from 30 to 40%; and China—whose president, Xi Jinping, surprised some by attending the virtual summit—made an economic case for fast climate action. “The commitments we make must be real,” Biden told leaders. “I know we can do this.” From Oliver Milman, at The Guardian…
Last week, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro essentially held the Amazon rainforest hostage, saying he would curb deforestation—but only if the US agreed to pay Brazil $1 billion a year. Then, this weekend, Bolsonaro cut his country’s environmental protection budget by 23%. It was a “shocking but certainly not unexpected” move, at a time when environmental advocates hope Biden will secure a deal with Bolsonaro to protect the Amazon, which is key to mitigating the climate emergency. From Dharna Noor, at Earther…
The pandemic called every aspect of our lives into question, and climate change is set to do the same. The choices societies make starting now will determine whether climatization—defined as “the process by which climate change will transform society,”—leads to a clean energy future and greater resilience or to a world in which human suffering, inequality, conflict, and the loss of plant and animal species are all amplified. From Justin Worland, in a cover story for Time…
The US Environmental Protection Agency is moving to restore California’s right to set its own aggressive automobile emissions standards, a right that was revoked under the Trump administration. From Anna M. Phillips, at the Los Angeles Times…
Renewable energy was not to blame for the power outages that rocked Texas following an arctic blast in February. Yet Republican politicians in the state, channeling national right-wing talking points, are pushing legislation that would punish wind and solar power production companies, hoisting huge costs on them for underperformance that conventional power plants are not asked to pay. From Dan Gearino, at Inside Climate News…
The following stories deserve special consideration for republication by CCNow partners:
- “Now Is The Time To Act,” Says NowThis Climate Documentary Featuring Kamala Harris | Covering Climate Now
- Here’s How NYC Transit System Is Prepping For Sea Level Rise—And Why It May Not Be Enough | WNYC/Gothamist
Climate journalism enters the solutions era | Columbia Journalism Review
And The Weather Channel’s climate unit, Pattrn, offers short videos to embed in digital stories—3 to 5 minutes each—from their “Faces of Change” series. These videos focus on young people at the forefront of finding solutions to climate change and environmental justice, from energy efficiency and urban gardening to recycling goods and plant-based eating. Watch the videos here…
ODDS & ENDS:
This week we proudly welcomed new CCNow partners: Vermont Public Radio, Investigate West, WOIO-TV in Cleveland, KVNF public radio in western Colorado, and WUSF public radio in Tampa Bay; the Exeter Observer and CONSTRAIN, in the United Kingdom; the Treibhaus podcast, in Switzerland; Hong Kong University’s Journalism and Media Studies Centre; The Wire Science, in India; allAfrica Global Media; and The Standard Media Group, in Kenya.