A big climate deal - but what comes next?

Leaders from more than 160 nations will meet in New York later today to officially sign the historic climate deal agreed in Paris back in December. “Never before have so many countries been present on the first day of an agreement,” notes the Independent head of the Earth Day-timed meeting at the United Nations. Yet despite the impressive pledges of global support for tackling climate change the real work begins now as countries must knuckle down and deliver on those pledges. The New York Times profiles the challenges China, the US, Brazil, India, Indonesia and the EU must overcome if the Paris deal is to become more than just empty words.

Volkswagen settles to ease its US pain

Volkswagen will offer to buy back 500,000 diesel cars equipped to cheat emissions tests from US private owners as part of a settlement deal agreed with the US Justice Department, Reuters reports. The deal will cost Volkswagen least $10 billion but “is not likely to end the Dieselgate controversy that began last September when the world's No. 2 automaker admitted using sophisticated secret software in its cars to cheat exhaust emissions tests,” Reuters writes.

But US buyback could blows back in Europe 

Neither will it do much for Volkswagen’s reputation and customer loyalty in Europe. The German automaker is not offering similar compensation to European car owners affected as the potential “financial fines and any consumer liabilities in Europe are not expected to be nearly as high because of differences in air-quality regulations and consumer-protection laws,” The New York Times reports. That may be the correct legal interpretation but it could cause Volkswagen more trouble in the long run. “Owners of its models in Europe, who account for a vast majority of the 11 million diesel vehicles with the cheating software, are angry that they are not receiving any compensation,” the NYT observes.

Diesel fails the grade in the UK

It’s not just Volkswagen that is flunking emissions grades. All diesel cars tested as part of a new UK government investigation failed EU nitrogen oxide emissions standards under normal driving conditions the Guardian reports. The problem seems however to be the nature of the rules rather than auto industry shenanigans (aside from Volkswagen that is.) “The results do not mean any of the manufacturers other than Volkswagen have potentially broken any laws, because the only legal standard currently is to meet the lab requirement,” the Guardian writes.

Brands pay Prince respect

Finally today, Adage reports that major brands were quick to pay respect to Prince once the shock news of his death broke yesterday. Spotify, Lenovo, 3M and even NASA  posted purple-themed visual tributes on social media. One brand however felt it had perhaps overstepped the mark. Cheerios had posted an image Tweet with a single Cheerio dotting the  i in Rest in Peace but soon deleted the Tweet. It told Ad Age: “As a Minnesota brand, Cheerios wanted 2 acknowledge the loss of a musical legend in our hometown. But we quickly decided that we didn't want the tweet 2 be misinterpreted, and removed it out of respect 4 Prince and those mourning."

Have a good weekend. We’ll be playing some Prince to remember.

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