Big day for the Paris deal –> Happy Earth Day! Leaders and diplomats from 170 nations are gathering today at United Nations headquarters here in New York to sign the climate deal hammered out in Paris last year. Suzanne Goldenberg reports for The Guardian: “The renewed commitments, and the personal appearance at the UN by about 60 heads of state, delivered a sense of momentum to efforts to bring the agreement into force far earlier than had originally been hoped. The agreement reached in Paris by 196 countries still needs formal approval from 55 countries representing 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions to come into force. In some cases, that means a vote in parliament.”
And, Will Yeates reports for DeSmogBlog that while most countries seem ready to enthusiastically embrace the agreement, a small number will not be attending today’s signing, including Saudi Arabia.
Even as we take this important step forward, author and activist Naomi Klein reminds us in a Boston Globe op-ed that the provisions in the deal are not enough to get us to the UN’s stated objective of limiting warming by 2 degrees Celsius (or, sometimes, more ambitiously, 1.5 degrees Celsius). The 1.5-to-2-degree threshold is the point at which the climate becomes far less stable, and changes irreversible regardless of human action. “Is the Paris Agreement a historic political breakthrough or is it a potential ecological disaster?” Klein writes. “It’s both.”
Next steps –> Following his loss by a large margin in this week’s New York primary, the press is waiting for Bernie Sanders to make his next move. The Washington Post’s John Wagner and Dan Balz quote the candidate’s wife, Jane Sanders: “If he’s president, he wants to keep this movement going,” she said. “If he’s not president, he’ll have to keep this movement going for a lot more reasons, because nobody else wants to accomplish what has ignited the interest of the voters… Honestly, we will continue no matter what. There’s enough people that will continue it. We’ll keep that vision out there. I mean, he will not sit idly by. There’s no doubt about that.”
And, John Fetterman, the mayor of Braddock, PA, a depopulated, post-industrial steel-making suburb of Pittsburgh, is running for the US Senate. He has aligned himself closely with Bernie Sanders’ policies but is trailing badly in the state’s Democratic primary polls and hopes for Sanders to give him an endorsement that has yet to arrive. “I’m sitting here with my corsage, waiting,” he tells Slate’s Michelle Goldberg.
Sifting through the cash –> As of the end of last month, more than a billion dollars had flowed into the presidential race. At the Center for Public Integrity, Dave Levinthal, Michael Beckel and Carrie Levine dig out some of the key numbers.
And, Matea Gold and Anu Narayanswamy write at The Washington Post that in March, Donald Trump invested more than $11 million of his own money in his own campaign.
Why the bankers remain unpunished –> ProPublica’s Jesse Eisinger, working with The New Yorker magazine, has obtained a trove of emails from former SEC lawyer James Kidney showing how, in the months after the crash, the federal regulatory agency was considering a stronger case against Goldman Sachs’s mortgage-backed security business but pulled its punches. Eisinger writes: “Kidney, for his part, came to believe that the big banks had ‘captured’ his agency — that is, that the SEC, which is charged with keeping financial institutions in line, had become overly cautious to the point of cowardice.”
Meanwhile, at The New York Times’ Dealbook, Nathaniel Popper writes that long-awaited rules on financial executive pay, mandated in Dodd-Frank, have finally been released: “The new limits on banker bonuses would make the highest-paid employees at the biggest banks wait at least four years to receive parts of their annual pay. If the proposals are completed in the coming months, banks would also have to reclaim bonuses from bankers who take risks that lead to big financial losses.”
Cold shoulder –> Maine Governor Paul LePage faced outrage yesterday when he vetoed a bill aimed at addressing the growing heroin crisis in his state. The bill would “allow pharmacists to dispense an anti-overdose drug without a prescription,” writes Kevin Miller for the Portland Press-Herald, but LePage said, “Naloxone does not truly save lives; it merely extends them until the next overdose.”
RIP –> The singular musician Prince died yesterday at the age of 57. At Salon, Ben Norton writes that while the eclectic and versatile performer was “not particularly well-known for dabbling in politics,” he did speak out. Here’s how.
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