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Pizza giant Domino’s is trying out a high-tech new strategy this month to recruit delivery drivers: providing them with electric vehicles.
Domino’s franchisees will begin receiving a total of 800 new Chevy Bolts — all bearing the store logo — by December, according to the company.
The new cars are aimed at helping franchisees attract and retain delivery drivers, especially those who don’t have their own cars, Domino’s chief executive Russell Weiner told The Wall Street Journal.
A lack of drivers — which corresponded with a rise in delivery times and canceled orders — led to spiraling revenue losses for Domino’s during the first years of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Journal.
The company is contracting with a division of car-rental company Enterprise to acquire the vehicles, perform maintenance and even install chargers for franchisees.
“We’ve got a long way to go, but we will have the biggest fleet of electric vehicles in the pizza industry, period,” Weiner said.
He added that the new cars should quickly pay for themselves by limiting costs for fuel and upkeep.
Today we’ll look at the unprecedented language in the new U.N. climate change agreement — and why many say it doesn’t go far enough. Plus: why a railroad strike might come before Christmas, and an international race to clear space junk.
The United Nations climate change conference (COP27) concluded this weekend with a deal to compensate developing nations for damages they have endured from climate change.
Yet while the agreement establishes a fund for addressing the “loss and damage” that these countries have incurred, a number of details remain unclear, our colleague Rachel Frazin reported for The Hill.
What’s in the deal? A transitional committee made up of 24 countries will be tasked with identifying funding sources and establishing a governance structure for the fund.
The members will be nominated no later than Dec. 15 and will include 10 developed and 14 developing nations.
Broader outlook: Nations also adopted a broader agreement, called the Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan, referring to the Egyptian city that hosted COP27.
Harnessing external financing: The new loss and damage fund diverges from other U.N.-sponsored initiatives in that it will seek money from a variety of sources, including development banks and possible taxes on fossil fuels or airlines, Reuters reported.
Governments that have traditional donor structures, such as the EU and the U.S., insisted on including this measure, according to Reuters.
An open invitation: The agreement specifically contains a provision to “invite” global financial institutions to consider contributing to such funding arrangements.
That provision specifically mentions both the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund as potential funders.
How do the banks respond? A World Bank spokesperson said “there was a broad recognition of the need to increase financing for global public goods, especially climate action,” at the group’s recent meetings.
Equilibrium has also reached out to the International Monetary Fund for comment.
A CRITICAL STEP, BUT NOT ENOUGH
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres described the agreements as “an important step toward justice,” in a video message issued from Egypt.
“Clearly this will not be enough, but it is a much-needed political signal to rebuild broken trust,” he added.
Not enough: While officials applauded the loss and damage deal as a breakthrough in supporting vulnerable nations, others lamented a failure to adapt more ambitious emissions reduction plans, The Washington Post reported.
Attempts to insert an agreement to phase out fossil fuels as a whole failed in the face of opposition from China, Saudi Arabia and other nations, according to CNN.
What went wrong? COP27 was unfolding amid several broad challenges, including the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Filling the bucket: While COP27 delegates approved a loss and damage fund, it remains to be seen whether — and how — that fund will be filled with actual money.
“A loss and damage fund has been established and that's important on its own, but it's an empty vessel,” Morgan Bazilian, a public policy professor at the Colorado School of Mines, told Equilibrium.
More than words: Another crucial step, according to Bazilian, is ensuring that any funds accrued are properly distributed if pledges do lead to real money.
“Word are good for society, and they will make a difference over time,” Bazilian said. “But they're not going to feed anyone or build infrastructure.”
Check out The Hill’s site tomorrow for an in-depth look at the outcomes of COP27.
Members of one of America’s largest railroad unions has voted down a wage contract with rail carriers, the union announced on Monday.
Big implications: No deal means the possibility of a strike right in the middle of the Christmas shopping season, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Why was it rejected? Continued anger at railroad sick leave and attendance policies, The Washington Post reported.
Will there be a strike? The union says it isn’t necessary — if the rail carriers go back to the negotiating table.
Otherwise, workers could strike as early as Dec. 9.
Chinese researchers on Sunday unveiled a new space "sail" to help ground crews destroy aging satellites before they can turn into dangerous orbital debris.
New space race: Around the world, countries and companies are hurrying to find ways to clear or avoid orbiting trash, The Washington Post reported.
For example, Japan is racing to develop its trash-removal capabilities in the face of Chinese debris-clearing competition, the Post reported.
Mixed record: A malfunction caused a Chinese Long March rocket to break apart into more than 50 chunks last week, according to tech news site The Register.
Incidents like these are one reason why “the greatest need for [space] cleanup soon could be China’s,” the Post reported.
Sail solution: China’s new sail can be deployed at the end of a satellite’s or rocket’s lifetime — unfolding like a parachute to pull a craft from orbit, Xinhua reported.
How effective is it? Use of the sail cuts a derelict satellite’s time in orbit from up to 120 years to less than 10, according to Xinhua.
Facing a growing problem: Space pollution is rapidly increasing alongside the growing near-orbital economy, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Climate change piles on: As the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases, space trash will stay aloft longer, according to a study published on Friday by the American Geophysical Union.
Hastening the construction of clean energy facilities, Saudi Arabia says it won't stop selling oil and New Jersey gives bear hunters a (temporary) green light.
Speeding up clean energy build-out could reduce related emissions
Saudi Arabia plans to sell oil for decades — regardless of climate impacts
New Jersey OKs black bear hunting season
Please visit The Hill’s Sustainability section online for the web version of this newsletter and more stories. We’ll see you tomorrow.