Democrats proposed on Monday to raise up to $16 billion a year by imposing a tax on imports from China and other countries that do not significantly reduce planet-warming pollution they cause.

Source: The New York Times

There are more forests in Germany than 50 or 100 years ago. Forestry statistics prove this: Even in the 1980s, when everyone thought the forest was dying, the forest area increased by 100 square kilometres a year. At the same time, a major ecological restructuring of the forests is underway. For more than three decades, the trend has been away from monocultures of spruce or pine and instead towards more mixed forests.

Source: Die Welt

In the waters near South Georgia, north of Antarctica, scientists have counted the most blue whales since the end of commercial whaling in the early 20th century: 55 of the animals were spotted this year, after 50 years of rare sightings in these waters. Blue whales are the largest animals on earth and were hunted almost to extinction. In the first half of the 20th century, it is estimated that almost 300,000 animals were killed - as many as there were in total before hunting began. In the meantime, the population in the southern hemisphere has returned to about 2,300 individuals.

Source: National Geographic

In December, 14 nations announced that they would sustainably manage 100 per cent of their coastal waters by 2025, protecting a marine area roughly the size of Africa. Each country promised to combat overfishing, make investments to reduce marine pollution and declare 30 per cent of their national waters as marine protected areas by 2030. Participating countries include Canada and Mexico, Japan, Australia, Kenya, Ghana, as well as Norway and Portugal.

Source: National Geographic

Over the past decade, e-cars have become increasingly popular thanks to technological improvements, lower prices and government subsidies. In 2010, there were just 17,000 electric cars on the world's roads. By 2019, there were 7.2 million, half of them in China. New pledges from governments could see this number rise even further. The UK announced a ban on the sale of new petrol or diesel cars by 2030, and California wants to follow suit by 2035. The industry is also reacting to this. The world's largest car manufacturer, Volkswagen, has made perhaps the biggest financial commitment of 2020. The company declared that it will invest 73 billion euros over the next five years in the production of more environmentally friendly cars.

Source: National Geographic

In the Corona period, most people spent their time indoors. Nature became more and more important as a place for recreation and entertainment. In this wake, in July, the Great American Outdoors Act was passed in the USA: not since the 1950s had the US Congress agreed to spend so much money on national parks. The Act also provides funds for forests, protected areas and future land acquisitions. In total, almost 10 billion dollars were awarded to public lands through the Act.

Source: National Geographic

The yellow mealworm was the first insect to be approved as a food by the EU. It's very nutritious, but needs far less resources. In comparison: 1 kilo of beef produces 2.85 kg of CO2, while mealworms produce just 0.00758 kg of CO2. It’s time to head to the supermarket!

Source: The Guardian

Spring was good for the glaciers! The low temperatures and high precipitation in March and April created a protective layer on the glaciers. This protective layer preserves the snow, so that it melts more slowly. Good News for Mother Nature.

Source: Science ORF

The Constitutional Court in Germany approved the action brought by the Fridays for Future movement. The climate protection law does not go far enough and is therefore incompatible with the constitution. There were no adequate requirements for the reduction of emissions from 2031 onwards. The pollution generated today must not affect future generations.

Source: Tagesschau

The famous TGV network in France should be used even more for climate protection in the future: a majority of the country’s parliamentarians have voted for a ban on domestic flights to destinations that can be reached by train within two and a half hours. Flights from Paris to Lyon or Bordeaux may soon no longer be possible. A small step into the right direction!

Source: Spiegel, Funk