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Coal kills. The good news is that over the past 10 years, the U.S. has reduced its coal consumption by half.

This reduction in coal consumption and the rise of cheaper and cleaner natural gas has resulted in 334 coal-power generating units being taken offline between 2005 and 2016.

It has also caused a reduction in 300 million tons of planet-heating carbon dioxide gas emissions by the coal industry. According to a study published in Nature Sustainability, this drastic reduction in pollution has saved 26,610 American lives.

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The Planet

According to the Guardian, since the Paris climate agreement was signed in 2016, $700 billion (yes, with a b) in financing had been provided to fossil fuel companies by the world's largest banks. JP Morgan Chase alone provided $75 billion to expand fracking operations and Arctic oil and gas exploration. It's not great, considering the United Nations' Emissions Gap report says we have to cut emissions by 55% by 2030.

Between 2016 and 2018 Goldman Sachs invested $59 billion in fossil fuels, the industry's 12th biggest banker. Now, things are changing, and it's not just the climate. Goldman Sachs recently updated their energy policy for the 21st century, announcing they will no longer provide financing for new Arctic oil drilling or exploration for oil in the Arctic, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. They will also stop investing in coal-fired power projects or new thermal coal mines anywhere in the globe. The policy doesn't cover fracking.

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John McDonnell/Creative Commons

"We need to ensure that companies are pulling their weight alongside government."

Call it a Labour of love for Planet Earth. John McDonnell, the Labour Party's Shadow Chancellor in the United Kingdom's Parliament, has proposed a bold new initiative that would require companies to do their part to help combat climate change.

Under the proposal, companies that aren't "pulling their weight" on environmental reforms could see their status in the London Stock Exchange threatened. McDonnell said the proposal was necessary to "ensure that companies are pulling their weight alongside government." The London Stock Exchange represents more than 2,000 companies from 60 nations and an estimated wealth of nearly $5 trillion U.S. dollars.

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Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

As world leaders meet to discuss new ways to tackle climate change at the U.N. Climate Action Summit, they might miss one very big part of healing nature – nature. In a new short film, youth climate change activist Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot, a writer for the Guardian, talked about how we need to use nature as a solution to climate change.

There's a huge push to curb emissions, but it's not the be all end all of handling climate change; we also need to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. While we don't have technology to do that for us, there is another solution. "There is a magic machine that sucks carbon out of the air, costs very little, and builds itself. It's called a tree," Monboit says in the film. Researchers found that we could get rid of two-thirds of the carbon dioxide that we've emitted during the industrial era just by growing trees. That amounts to 205 billion tons of carbon. Right now, deforestation of tropical forests is responsible for 20% of current greenhouse emissions.

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The Planet