ByKevin Sheekey

Hope for Cleaner Air, Better Climate.

Germany Moves Beyond CoalGerman Parties Agree on 2030 Coal Phase-Out in Coalition Talks

The three parties that will form the next German government have agreed to phase out coal by 2030 — eight years earlier than previously planned. In addition, the parties also agreed to phase out natural gas for power generation by 2040 at the latest.

More Coal NewsLarge Insurers Are Hatching a Plan to Take Down Coal

Insurers have a uniquely powerful role in addressing climate change — and one that may help determine the coal industry’s very existence in the next two decades, if not sooner. Insurers are not only among the largest institutional investors, their ability to withdraw insurance coverage can hinder a company’s operations.

Insurance companies also pay when climate change causes natural disasters, which cost the industry $82 billion last year, according to the insurer Munich Re.

AXA, the French insurance company, has eagerly leaned into its levers for reducing carbon emissions. In 2015, AXA became the first insurer to start divesting from coal, and it is now chair of the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance, a pledge signed by eight of the world’s largest insurers and reinsurers who have committed to have underwriting portfolios with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The majority of the signatories are European insurers. U.S. insurers, including AIG and Berkshire Hathaway, have not agreed to the terms.

Congrats to Patti Harris!

Bloomberg Philanthropies CEO Patti Harris has been named to Crain’s 50 Most Powerful Women in New York list again in 2021. Patti has been named to the biannual list in every edition since 2011.

Crain’s writes: “When the pandemic began taking a toll in early 2020, Patti Harris didn’t miss a beat. On the heels of the first lockdowns, she created a plan to aid nonprofits for which the crisis posed an existential threat. Through the New York Community Trust and the Nonprofit Finance Fund, the NYC Covid-19 Response & Impact Fund has distributed more than $110 million in grants and no-interest loans to organizations that provide food, housing, child care and remote cultural programming in the city.

“Stopping the spread of Covid-19 and ameliorating its damage became a special mission. A partnership with World Central Kitchen provided meals to 30,000 frontline health care workers, and an alliance with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Vital Strategies launched a contact-tracing program. Overall, Bloomberg Philanthropies handed out $1.6 billion in 810 cities and 170 countries last year for the arts, education, the environment, public health, innovative government and other causes.

“Before becoming CEO of Bloomberg Philanthropies, Harris managed Bloomberg LP’s corporate communications. Later she became first deputy mayor under Michael Bloomberg—the first woman in that role.”

Read moreCrain’s 50 Most Powerful Women in New York (Crain’s New York Business)

What I’m Reading.

News You Can UseTips for Thanksgiving Meals That Include Unvaccinated Guests

Many experts recommend asking all guests to provide a negative Covid test using rapid test kits available at most major pharmacies.

How United Airlines Decided to Lead on Vaccine Mandates

Goldman Sachs Sees More Curbs, Not Lockdowns, in Big Euro-Area Nations With Rising Cases

U.S. Listed as a ‘Backsliding’ Democracy for First Time

The report found President Donald Trump’s factually baseless questioning of the legitimacy of the 2020 election results a “historic turning point” that “undermined fundamental trust in the electoral process” and culminated in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Trump’s tactics had “spillover effects, including in Brazil, Mexico, Myanmar and Peru, among others,” according to the report by the Stockholm-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.

Far-Right Organizers of Deadly 2017 Charlottesville Rally Held Liable

Peter Buck, Co-Founder of the Subway Sandwich Chain, Dies at 90

Jamie Dimon Jokes JPMorgan Is Likely to Outlast China’s Communist Party, Later Says He Regrets Comments

Morgan Stanley Boss to Young Bankers: You’re ‘Nuts’ if You’re Not in the Office

NY Gov. Kathy HochulAmerica’s Microchip Resurgence Runs Through New York

Starting Today! NYC’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (and Balloon Inflation) is Back

Beginning at noon today, dozens of balloons, from big characters like Pillsbury Dough Boy, Snoopy, and Pikachu and newcomers Ada Twist, Scientist and Baby Yoda will be inflated on Manhattan’s Upper West Side at 77th and Columbus.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Unveils First-Ever Holiday Lights Show

‘Lightscape,’ on view through January 9, is a celebration of light that incorporates art and music that people from all cultures and beliefs can enjoy. It features more than one million lights on display across the 52-acre garden.

Best of Late Night.

On President Biden announcing that he would release 50 million barrels of oil from the strategic reserve in an effort to lower gas prices:

“For those who don’t know, the strategic reserve is a series of caverns filled with fossil fuel and strategically located inside Rudy Giuliani’s head.”
— Stephen Colbert

“This is great news for me. I was just thinking of getting my wife a barrel of oil for Christmas.”
— James Corden

“The clothing brand Old Navy on Friday launched a virtual Santa Boot Camp to train mall Santas on how to deal with outrageous gift requests – like gas.”
— Seth Meyers

On news that more than 90% of U.S. federal employees were vaccinated ahead of the Biden administration’s vaccine deadline:

“Still, under 65% of Americans got the shots. You know, all these anti-vaxxers who said, ‘I’m going to wait and see how it goes.’ Well it went, most of us have had the vaccine for a year now and we’re fine.”
— Jimmy Kimmel

“According to a new report, U.S. domestic air travel has almost completely recovered from the pandemic. Not yet recovered? Flight attendants.”
— Seth Meyers

And the Best of Satire:

Dr. Fauci Urges Americans to Use COVID as Excuse to Skip Thanksgiving with Horrible Relatives

About the Sheekey Daily Read

I’m always searching for the stories that shine a light on – and offer solutions to – some of the most pressing issues of our time. I started my daily email to capture and share the stories I think are important. Thanks for reading!
– Kevin Sheekey

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