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Climate policy outlook: Ottawa plastics talks wrap up

This week’s most important climate policy stories.

A photograph of a plastic dump site

As the Ottawa talks wrap up, negotiators are far from solving the world's plastic emergency. Source: Mohamed Abdulraheem via Shutterstock 

  • Governments from around the globe are meeting in Ottawa, Canada, to continue negotiations for a global plastics treaty. One proposal is to impose a fee of $60 to $90 per metric ton of plastic resin (produced or collected was not specified) to help fund and close financial gaps imposed by a treaty. Meanwhile, the EU parliament passed a law (that is waiting for ratification) to ban certain types of single use plastics, like those found in mini shampoo bottles and plastic grocery bags.

Earlier, GreenBiz vice president of circularity Jon Smieja rounded up the three things that activists are looking for from the eventual treaty. Bottom line: None of them is guaranteed. 

The next session of the talks is scheduled for November in Busan, South Korea

Pennsylvania school buses go electric

Georgia utility suit draws connection between climate change and racism

  • Black voters in Georgia — who sued over the state-wide election of district utility commissioners — are appealing their case to the Supreme Court. Georgia’s utility regulators are required to reside in and represent different districts of the state, but are elected by state-wide voters. The plaintiffs argue that this system dilutes the impact of their votes, citing the last Metro Atlanta representative, a white Republican, who served three consecutive terms, despite overwhelming local opposition according to voting data. One-third of Georgia’s population is Black, and four of the five past utility commissioners were white Republicans. Part of the job of the commission is to decide where the power distributed on district grids comes from, impacting greenhouse gas emissions.

[Continue the conversation on climate policy at Circularity 24 (May 22-24, Chicago), the leading conference for professionals building the circular economy.]

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