• Legislative & Political Update - Adco 11/12

    It’s Friday, November 12, 2021. Election Day 2022 is 361 days away. Election Day 2024 is 1,089 days away. The Second Regular Session of the Seventy-Third Colorado General Assembly will convene in 60 days. Below are today's updates. No action is required. Please feel free to share this information with interested community partners.
     
    Key Takeaways: 1) Polis pushes monoclonal antibodies for Colorado’s high-risk COVID patients. 2) Biden to sign $1 trillion infrastructure bill on Monday. 3) For 2nd straight month, Americans quit jobs at a record pace. 4) Glasgow climate talks are down to the wire on money, ambition and fossil fuels. 
     
    Currently, one out of every 48 Coloradans is infected with COVID-19. Everyone in Colorado is now considered high risk for COVID-19. In an executive order signed Wednesday night, Gov. Jared Polis declared the entire state of Colorado "high risk for exposure or transmission of COVID-19." He did that to make everyone 18 or older eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot. He did not issue a new mask mandate or capacity restrictions like the last time hospitals in Colorado were as full with COVID-19 patients. 



    Gov. Polis on Friday urged anyone who is eligible for monoclonal antibody treatment to get it, but not to use it as a replacement for vaccination against COVID-19. Antibody treatment early in the disease’s course can reduce the odds of hospitalization by about 70%, but vaccines lower the odds by about 90%. Still, if a person didn’t get vaccinated, antibody treatment is their best option, Polis said. “We need every bed that we have in our hospitals,” he said during a news briefing. To be eligible for monoclonal antibody treatment, you must have a positive COVID-19 test and fit the following criteria: age 12 or older; have mild to moderate symptoms (If you can’t breathe, it’s too late); symptoms started in the last 10 days; and at high risk of severe disease because of age or chronic conditions. 
     
    Meanwhile, the White House announced Wednesday that President Joe Biden will on Monday sign into law the largest federal investment in infrastructure in more than a decade. In a statement, the administration said Biden will be joined in a signing ceremony by members of Congress who helped write the $1 trillion piece of legislation to improve the nation’s roads, bridges and waterways. “The President will highlight how he is following through on his commitment to rebuild the middle class and the historic benefits the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will deliver for American families,” the White House said in a press release.



    At the same time, Americans quit their jobs at a record pace for the second straight month in September, in many cases for more money elsewhere as companies bump up pay to fill job openings that are close to an all-time high. The Labor Department said Friday that 4.4 million people quit their jobs in September, or about 3% of the nation's workforce. That's up from 4.3 million in August and far above the pre-pandemic level of 3.6 million. There were 10.4 million job openings, down from 10.6 million in August, which was revised higher. The figures point to a historic level of turmoil in the job market as newly-empowered workers quit jobs to take higher pay that is being dangled by businesses in need of help. Incomes are rising, Americans are spending more and the economy is growing, and employers have ramped up hiring to keep pace. Rising inflation, however, is offsetting much of the pay gains for workers.



    And the international climate talks went into overtime Friday evening, as negotiators wrestled behind closed doors over several sticking points in an agreement that could determine whether nations can prevent the planet from growing dangerously hot by midcentury. A draft agreement released Friday morning called for a doubling of money to help developing countries cope with climate impacts, and said nations should strengthen their emissions-cutting targets by next year. The draft urged countries to accelerate a coal phaseout and eliminate subsidies for fossil fuels. Negotiators from about 200 countries worked through the night, arguing over several aspects of the document, including whether countries should be asked to return next year with stronger emissions plans, money for developing countries suffering the worst impacts, and how to structure a global market for carbon.
     
    Coronavirus In Colorado; The Numbers: According to today's data release, in Colorado there have been 4,001,579 people tested, 781,960 positive cases, 44,524 hospitalized, 8,620 deaths among cases (8,886 deaths due to COVID), 6,667 outbreaks at residential and non- hospital health care facilities, and 64 of 64 counties with positive cases. In Adams County we have 79,874 cases and 877 deaths among COVID cases. There have been 8,141,724 cumulative vaccine doses administered in Colorado. More from CDPHE here. The COVID-19 State Dial Dashboard can be found here.



    COVID-19 Hot Spots Like Colorado May Offer A Sign Of What’s Ahead For The U.S.: The contagious delta variant is driving up COVID-19 hospitalizations in the Mountain West and fueling disruptive outbreaks in the North, a worrisome sign of what could be ahead this winter in the U.S. While trends are improving in Florida, Texas and other Southern states that bore the worst of the summer surge, it’s clear that delta isn’t done with the United States. COVID-19 is moving north and west for the winter as people head indoors, close their windows and breathe stagnant air. “We’re going to see a lot of outbreaks in unvaccinated people that will result in serious illness, and it will be tragic,” said Dr. Donald Milton of the University of Maryland School of Public Health. More from The Colorado Sun here



    Why Is COVID So Bad Right Now In Colorado? There Are Plenty Of Guesses: May 6, 2021, turned out to be a fateful day for Colorado. On that date, a coronavirus variant first identified in India was discovered in Colorado for the first time. Five cases of the B1617.2 strain were identified in Mesa County. None of those people had a recent travel history. It was the delta variant. Now it makes up 100 percent of all COVID-19 cases in Colorado as the pandemic rages on, with transmission, cases, hospitalizations and deaths steadily marching upward. The latest projections show Colorado’s situation has grown so dire, hospital capacity could be breached in the coming weeks. Why now? What’s driving it? The short answer is that no one knows. But there are a lot of guesses. More from CPR here
     
    Gov. Polis Provides COVID-19 Update, Urges Coloradans To Get Vaccinated, Seek Monoclonal Treatment: Today, Governor Jared Polis provided an update on Colorado’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the efforts the state is taking to encourage more Coloradans to receive monoclonal antibody treatments and to get vaccinated. Governor Polis was joined by Dr. Rachel Herlihy, State Epidemiologist, who discussed how monoclonal treatments can prevent Coloradans from being hospitalized from COVID-19. Jill Lester, a Coloradan who received monoclonal antibody treatment, joined Governor Polis and Dr. Herlihy to share her treatment story. “I thank Jill for sharing her story about receiving monoclonal antibody treatment which reduces the likelihood of hospitalization and we are actively working to scale up treatment availability across the state to help reduce the stress on our hospitals and protect lives,” said Governor Polis. “It is extremely dangerous to be unvaccinated at this point in time. Colorado is working to recover economically from the pandemic but those who remain unvaccinated are still filling up our hospitals and endangering themselves and others. We all want this to end, but everyone needs to do their part and get the vaccine and the booster after six months.” Currently, one out of every 48 Coloradans is infected with COVID-19. Given the rise in cases, earlier this week Governor Polis announced a series of statewide actions Colorado is considering or is moving forward with to help ease hospital capacity and reduce the stress on our health care workforce. More from Governor Jared Polis here.
     
    Polis Pushes Monoclonal Antibodies For Colorado’s High-Risk COVID Patients: Polis on Friday urged anyone who is eligible for monoclonal antibody treatment to get it, but not to use it as a replacement for vaccination against COVID-19. Antibody treatment early in the disease’s course can reduce the odds of hospitalization by about 70%, but vaccines lower the odds by about 90%. Still, if a person didn’t get vaccinated, antibody treatment is their best option, Polis said. “We need every bed that we have in our hospitals,” he said during a news briefing. To be eligible for monoclonal antibody treatment, you must have a positive COVID-19 test and fit the following criteria: Age 12 or older; have mild to moderate symptoms (If you can’t breathe, it’s too late); symptoms started in the last 10 days; and at high risk of severe disease because of age or chronic conditions. Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the state epidemiologist, said that if half of the eligible people get monoclonal antibody treatment, about 2,600 fewer people would be hospitalized through the end of the year, and the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized on the projected worst day would be 150 to 300 lower. More from The Denver Post here
     
    New Data Shows Who Is Infected With Breakthrough COVID-19 Cases: You may have heard of more people you know getting COVID recently – even if they’re vaccinated. Breakthrough cases are becoming more common, but doctors said they’re not driving the surge. We now have the clearest picture of who’s still getting sick after getting the vaccine. "Breakthrough infections play some part, but the important thing to emphasize is that they are the minor part," said Dr. Jared Eddy, director of Infection Control and Prevention at National Jewish Health. "We still think that the most important aspect of the spread of COVID is people who are unvaccinated." There are about four times more COVID cases among unvaccinated people than those who are vaccinated as of late October, according to new data released by the state. Unvaccinated patients make up 80% of all people hospitalized with COVID right now, according to state data. The rest usually fall into a high risk category, according to Eddy. "Many of the ones who end up hospitalized after vaccination are older or have medical conditions or they’re on some sort of immunosuppressant," said Eddy. Of the unvaccinated patients hospitalized over the past month, the median age is 58. The median age of vaccinated patients is 73. "The unvaccinated are younger. The unvaccinated are sicker. The unvaccinated are more in the ICU," said Dr. Richard Zane, chief of Emergency Services at UCHealth. "Those that are vaccinated have significant underlying medical conditions." More from 9News here



    Governor Polis Visits Colorado State Veterans Community Living Center At Fitzsimons, Discusses COVID-19 Vaccine & Honors Colorado’s Veterans: Governor Jared Polis visited the Colorado State Veterans Community Living Center at Fitzsimons in Aurora to discuss the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine, and recognize and honor the contributions of those who have served in the military. “Colorado has a rich and proud military heritage that goes back for generations, and that’s something we are immeasurably proud of. It was almost a year ago when we gathered here at Fitzsimons to administer some of the very first life-saving vaccines,” said Governor Polis. “As we recognize Veterans Day this week, I hope that every Coloradan thinks about how their actions impact the people around them, including our veteran community.  Our veterans have supported us, now it’s our turn to support them. There are many ways that we can do that, and one of the best ways we can do that is to get vaccinated.” 95% of staff at the living center are vaccinated & nearly 98% of all residents are vaccinated.   Nearly 80% of all eligible Coloradans have received at least one dose of the vaccine. This past weekend, Colorado marked a major milestone in the pandemic with the first doses being administered to 5 to 11-year-old Coloradans. Since first administering those vaccines on Saturday, the Governor was proud to announce that more than 11,000 Colorado kids are on their way to being fully protected against the virus. Gov. Polis was joined by Chief of the Joint Staff Colonel Michael Bruno from the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, as well as Mike Menard and Lila Phillips, the children of Melvin Menard, the very first Fitzsimons resident to receive COVID-19 Vaccine, and John Rose, a Fitzsimons Resident and Army Veteran who also received the COVID-19 vaccine. Governor Polis and members of the community were on hand last year when Fitzsimons residents received their first dose of the life-saving, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. More from Governor Jared Polis here
     
    Colorado’s Governor Always Said Hospital Capacity Would Dictate A New Mask Mandate. So Why Hasn’t He Issued One?: In early August, as coronavirus infections and hospitalizations first began rising in Colorado following a summer lull, Gov. Jared Polis stood before reporters to answer questions about the worrying trend. Asked when he might consider reissuing a statewide mask mandate or other such aggressive virus-fighting actions, he was clear. “We will not overwhelm our hospitals,” he said then. “We will take the steps necessary to avoid doing that.” Later, he added: “We don’t wait until we’re overwhelming our hospitals. We watch the trend, and we act before we are overwhelming our hospitals.” Colorado is about to overwhelm its hospitals. More from The Colorado Sun here
     
    Polis' New COVID Order Does Not Include Social Restrictions, Frustrating Some: Everyone in Colorado is now considered high risk for COVID-19. In an executive order signed Wednesday night, Gov. Jared Polis (D) declared the entire state of Colorado "high risk for exposure or transmission of COVID-19." He did that to make everyone 18 or older eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot. He did not issue a new mask mandate or capacity restrictions like the last time hospitals in Colorado were as full with COVID-19 patients. More from 9News here



    With Colorado Hospitals Full And Short-Staffed, Some Health Care Providers May Need To Work In Roles They Aren’t Certified For: The state of Colorado activated a key emergency measure Tuesday to cope with rising COVID-19 hospitalizations. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Eric France initiated the Crisis Standards of Care for staffing. It gives hospitals greater leeway to deal with staff shortages, illness, workload and burnout. It allows for workers to be moved to care for a sicker level of patient than they normally would and gives hospitals and doctors emergency protection from liability. “This is really for health facilities and hospitals that focuses on the issues they face with staffing during a time of crisis,” said France. He said due to the pandemic, there is a “limited, flexible” ceiling of how much work providers can do before hospitals and their staff have to change their practices. That includes to “maybe increase the ratios of nurses to cases, have people step up into new roles.” France said the move aims to ease the pressure and grind on providers. More from CPR here
     
    Governor Prepares To Expand Colorado’s COVID Hospital Capacity, Push Vaccine Requirement For Large Indoor Events: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said he is preparing to expand the state’s hospital bed capacity, urge cities to require that people who attend large indoor events are vaccinated and speed up the distribution of coronavirus vaccine boosters as COVID case rates and hospitalizations in the state reach what he called a “crisis.” Polis, speaking Wednesday to a group of medical advisers, said he also wants to hasten efforts to eliminate regulatory hurdles around the strained health care workforce and expand the use of monoclonal antibody treatments, which can reduce hospitalizations. More from The Colorado Sun here
     
    Weiser And Polis Hope $1 Million In Grants Will Help Former Prisoners Find Jobs And Employers Find Workers: Former felons exiting prison could be candidates for job openings across Colorado right now — from restaurants to lumber yards — which could bring about the stability necessary to lessen the likelihood they commit another crime. So hopes Attorney General Phil Weiser who announced more than $1 million in grants on Tuesday to the Colorado Department of Corrections and advocacy groups. The grants will grow the list of private employers willing to hire people leaving prison who need work. The money will also go toward additional training programs for people preparing to leave prison, so they have some skills. “The number one concern we hear from the business community is that it’s hard to find people to fill our open positions right now. So employers who think out of the box and can tap into a talented, dedicated pool of potential employees who need jobs, are ready for jobs, will benefit immensely,” said Gov. Jared Polis, at a press event announcing the new money. “Now is the right time. There is a real need right now for people to power our economic recovery.” More from CPR here
     
    Sen. Steve Fenberg Touts Colorado Windall From Infrastructure Bill: State Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg told his constituents Colorado is in line for $1.2 trillion from infrastructure package. Fenberg didn't give all the credit to his fellow Democrats for the bipartisan legislation, but noted "[W]e're about to see one of President Biden's top priorities become reality." President Joe Biden is expected to sign the legislation at a ceremony on Monday. The House of Representatives passed the package last week. The Senate passed it in August. "We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our Colorado leaders in Congress who pushed to get the best possible bill to Biden's desk," Fenberg said in the email blast. "They worked extremely hard to make sure as many Colorado priorities as possible were included in the bill." He said the money spent over the next five years in Colorado is "going to create thousands of jobs in our communities, supporting our ongoing economic recovery." More from Colorado Politics here.
     
    Colorado Will Get At Least $100 Million, Possibly $1 Billion, From Infrastructure Bill To End Digital Divide: Colorado’s efforts to end its rural digital divide could finally happen with the $1 trillion U.S. infrastructure bill, currently awaiting President Joe Biden’s signature. At least $100 million for broadband infrastructure will end up in Colorado, but it could be much more, said Tony Neal-Graves, chief information officer and executive director of the Colorado Office of Information Technology. “When we go through it and try to estimate how much money could potentially flow to the state of Colorado, directly or indirectly depending on the type of grant program it is, it could be north of a billion dollars,” Neal-Graves said. More from The Colorado Sun here
     
    Biden To Sign $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill On Monday: The White House announced Wednesday that President Joe Biden will on Monday sign into law the largest federal investment in infrastructure in more than a decade. In a statement, the administration said Biden will be joined in a signing ceremony by members of Congress who helped write the $1 trillion piece of legislation to improve the nation’s roads, bridges and waterways. “The President will highlight how he is following through on his commitment to rebuild the middle class and the historic benefits the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will deliver for American families,” the White House said in a press release. Namely, “millions of good-paying, union jobs for working people, improvements in our ports and transportation systems that strengthen supply chains, high-speed internet for every American, clean water for all children and families, the biggest investments in our roads and bridges in generations, the most significant investment in mass transit ever, and unprecedented investments in clean energy infrastructure.” More from CNBC here
     
    America Has An Infrastructure Bill. What Happens Next?: Friday afternoons are typically the place to hide bad news, but that wasn’t this. Late Friday, November 5th, the House of Representatives passed the Senate version of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The bill now goes directly to President Biden’s desk, where it will certainly become law. America finally has a generation-defining infrastructure bill—and if the reconciliation budget comes through, too, America will begin a building spree larger than what happened during the New Deal. When landmark legislation like IIJA gets passed, it’s easy to overemphasize victories on Capitol Hill. But that’s not the case for infrastructure. Passing IIJA is only the end of the beginning. More from Brookings here
     
    Will The Reconciliation Bill Pass Soon?: The House could vote as soon as next week on the roughly $2 trillion reconciliation package, sending it to the Senate where it's provisions could be changed. CQ Roll Call’s Jennifer Shutt and David Lerman break down the latest around the reconciliation package. More from Roll Call here
     
    For 2nd Straight Month, Americans Quit Jobs At A Record Pace: Americans quit their jobs at a record pace for the second straight month in September, in many cases for more money elsewhere as companies bump up pay to fill job openings that are close to an all-time high. The Labor Department said Friday that 4.4 million people quit their jobs in September, or about 3% of the nation's workforce. That's up from 4.3 million in August and far above the pre-pandemic level of 3.6 million. There were 10.4 million job openings, down from 10.6 million in August, which was revised higher. The figures point to a historic level of turmoil in the job market as newly-empowered workers quit jobs to take higher pay that is being dangled by businesses in need of help. Incomes are rising, Americans are spending more and the economy is growing, and employers have ramped up hiring to keep pace. Rising inflation, however, is offsetting much of the pay gains for workers. More from Politico here
     
    Johnson & Johnson Will Break Itself Into Two Companies: Johnson & Johnson said on Friday that it would break itself into two publicly traded companies, in the latest instance of corporate giants shrinking themselves to please shareholders. The 135-year-old company, which employs more than 136,000 people, announced that it planned to spin off its consumer-products division — home to Tylenol, Band-Aid, Neutrogena beauty products and more — into a separate business. That would leave J.&J. with its pharmaceutical and medical devices division, which includes its coronavirus vaccine manufacturing and boasts faster-growing sales and higher margins. Even as stand-alone businesses, the J.&J. companies will be enormous. The medical division is expected to report $77 billion in revenue this year. And the consumer operations — which trace their roots to the company’s founding in 1886 as a maker of surgical dressings — are predicted to bring in $15 billion in sales. More from The New York Times here
     
    Some Of The World’s Biggest Companies Are Breaking apart. Here’s Why: Johnson & Johnson announced Friday it will split itself into two publicly traded companies, separating its lucrative pharmaceutical and medical devices divisions from the consumer products business known for Band-Aid, Tylenol and its namesake baby shampoo. It’s the latest high-profile separation from a legacy company — coming the same week General Electric announced its breakup plan and the same day similar news came from Toshiba — signaling that investors increasingly see value in smaller, more streamlined enterprises over sprawling conglomerates. Johnson & Johnson will headline the larger pharmaceutical and medical device business — which includes its coronavirus vaccine manufacturing. The divisions brought in nearly $13 billion in the most recent quarter. The other company will be built around such well-known household brands as Tylenol, Listerine and Band-Aid, assets that brought in about $3.7 billion in the most recent quarter. It is referred to in the company’s announcement as “The New Consumer Health Company.” More from The Washington Post here
     
    What We Learned From The 2nd Week Of The Kyle Rittenhouse Homicide Trial: Prosecutors and defense lawyers have rested their cases in the closely watched homicide trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, the 18-year-old who shot and killed two protesters one night last year in Wisconsin. Over eight days of testimony — including a dramatic turn by Rittenhouse himself, where he sobbed on the stand — witnesses and visual evidence described a tense and chaotic night filled with fires, verbal threats and physical intimidation and where guns abounded, in the hands of protesters and self-styled militiamen alike. "I didn't want to have to kill anybody. I was being attacked," Rittenhouse testified Wednesday, his voice shaking. Closing arguments are set to take place Monday. The jury will likely begin deliberations that afternoon. In late August 2020, the city of Kenosha, Wis., was enveloped by chaotic protests after police there shot and wounded a 29-year-old Black man named Jacob Blake. Protesters destroyed police cars and burned down several buildings. More from NPR here



    France Steps Up COVID  Measures, Warning That Europe Is On The Brink Of A Fifth Wave: French President Emmanuel Macron implored the 6 million people in the country who have not received a single dose to do so immediately. "Get vaccinated," Macron said in a televised speech to the nation Tuesday night. "Get vaccinated to protect yourselves. Get vaccinated to live normally." With infections and hospitalizations slowly rising, Macron said that starting Monday, school kids must once again wear masks all day. Beginning Dec. 15, anyone over 65 who has not had a booster shot will not have their health pass activated. France's health pass is the proof of vaccine which allows people to access restaurants and cafes, cultural events and intercity rail travel. France has one of the highest rates of vaccination, with more than 70 percent of people inoculated. The strict rules have pushed many to get the jab. The French president said a booster shot campaign for 50- to 64-year-olds will begin in early December. More from NPR here
     
    Germany, France Restrict Moderna’s Covid Vaccine For Under-30s Over Rare Heart Risk—Despite Surging Cases: Germany’s vaccine advisory board on Wednesday recommended against using Moderna’s Covid-19 shot in people under 30 due to evidence suggesting a very small risk of heart inflammation, joining France and a string of other European countries restricting the vaccine as coronavirus cases across the continent soar to record levels. The Standing Commission on Vaccination (STIKO), a body of experts that advise German states on vaccination policy, said only the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine should be offered to people under the age of 30. Young recipients of Pfizer’s shot showed slightly lower rates of heart inflammation than those who received the Moderna shot, the group said, according to multiple news outlets. More from Forbes here



    COP26 Sees Pledges To Transition To Electric Vehicles, But Key Countries — Like The U.S. — Are Mum: A group of governments, automakers and others have signed on to an agreement to transition to 100% zero-emission car and van sales by 2040 globally and by 2035 in “leading markets.” Fifteen countries also agreed to a separate pledge to work toward 100% zero-emission sales of new trucks and buses by 2040. The agreements, both of which were announced at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, were hailed as a significant step toward decarbonizing the automotive industry. Cars and trucks account for roughly one-fifth of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. But the agreements were also noteworthy for the names that were missing. The world’s largest auto markets including the U.S., China, Germany, South Korea and Japan were absent from the pledges, and the top two global automakers Toyota and Volkswagen also didn’t sign. More from NPR here
     
    Glasgow Climate Talks Are Down To The Wire On Money, Ambition And Fossil Fuels: The international climate talks went into overtime Friday evening, as negotiators wrestled behind closed doors over several sticking points in an agreement that could determine whether nations can prevent the planet from growing dangerously hot by midcentury. A draft agreement released Friday morning called for a doubling of money to help developing countries cope with climate impacts, and said nations should strengthen their emissions-cutting targets by next year. The draft urged countries to accelerate a coal phaseout and eliminate subsidies for fossil fuels. Negotiators from about 200 countries worked through the night, arguing over several aspects of the document, including whether countries should be asked to return next year with stronger emissions plans, money for developing countries suffering the worst impacts, and how to structure a global market for carbon. More from The New York Times here
     
    Qatar Agrees To Represent U.S. Interests In Taliban-Led Afghanistan: Qatar has agreed to become the "protecting power" for U.S. interests in Afghanistan, taking on a formal role as the diplomatic intermediary between Washington and the new Taliban government, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Friday. Why it matters: The U.S. has shown no indication it will recognize the Taliban government, but diplomatic engagement will be necessary in order to stave off the mass humanitarian crisis bearing down on Afghanistan as winter approaches. Driving the news: An agreement signed Friday will establish a special section in the Qatar Embassy in Kabul to provide certain consular services to U.S. citizens and monitor the security conditions of American diplomatic assets in Afghanistan. More from Axios here
     
    Space Companies Forge Alliance To Reduce In-Orbit Debris By 2030: Ten companies and organizations from across the space industry have vowed to devise concrete measures for reducing the amount of in-orbit debris by 2030. French satellite fleet operator Eutelsat, launch service provider Arianespace and U.S.-based Earth imagery venture Planet are among signatories of the Net Zero Space charter, which was launched Nov. 12 during the Paris Peace Forum in France. “There are about 4,700 operational satellites currently in orbit, and this number could rise to more than 25,000 by the end of the decade,” Arianespace CEO Stéphane Israël said in a statement. “We must therefore urgently address the question of our responsibility in relation to the increased use of space, so we can safeguard the benefits for humanity over the long haul.” No firm commitments were made as part of the Net Zero Space alliance’s launch. However, Eutelsat deputy CEO Michel Azibert, who joined the Paris Peace Forum event, indicated that the company would be coming back to the conference next year with more granularity on space debris matters. More from SpaceNews here