Tag Archives: economic benefits of climate action

Data! 10 charts show the economic benefits of US climate action

Red, Green, and Blue Article by Joel Jaeger and Devashree Saha,
With The World Resources Institute

The United States made substantial progress towards a low-carbon economy over the past several years. Low-carbon technologies became more efficient and affordable compared to fossil fuels, while U.S. clean energy investment and deployment grew to new heights, creating millions of jobs. All this progress could be in jeopardy due to the economic impacts of COVID-19 and government support for the declining fossil fuel industry.

But there is a better way—one that spurs economic growth, creates jobs, reduces costs for Americans and fights climate change. Our new paper synthesizes the latest research on the benefits of U.S. climate action in today’s economic reality. We found that strong climate action and investments in low-carbon infrastructure can be effective ways to build back better from COVID-19 and secure the economy’s long-term success. Here are 10 charts drawn from America’s New Climate Economy, which illustrate the economic benefits of advancing climate policies in the United States: Continue reading here.

Photo of a rancher at his solar water pump, an example of a clean energy project that can help states decouple emissions from GDP. Credit: Lance Cheung/USDA.

Additional Recommended Reading
COVID-19 Bailouts Should Target Oil and Gas Workers and Communities, Not Companies, by Devashree Saha, World Resources Institute

WRI WEBINAR RECORDING

Building America’s New Climate Economy: The webinar features a brief presentation on America’s New Climate Economy: A Comprehensive Guide to the Economic Benefits of Climate Policy in the United States.

ENERGY POLICY TRACKER UPDATE

U.S. public money commitments to different energy types:
Since the beginning of the COVID19 pandemic in early 2020, the United States has committed at least USD 99.72 billion to supporting different energy types through new or amended policies, according to official government sources and other publicly available information.

  • At least $72.35 billion supporting fossil fuel energy / $220.43 per capita
  • At least $27.37 billion supporting clean energy / $83.38 per capita

Previously Posted: United States Spend Ten Times More On Fossil Fuel Subsidies Than Education, Forbes

NEW COMMUNITY SOLAR GUIDE

Community Solar Power — What’s Happening? What’s New?, CleanTechnica
We’ve published a new community solar power guide for regular reference, and updates as needed. The first version of it is published below. If you have anything to add, correct, or request, please let us know.

SOLAR-POWERED MILITARY COMMUNITIES

Hunt Military Communities Supporting U.S. Military Leadership in Energy Conservation, Hunt Military Communities News Release, PR Newswire

Hunt Military Communities (HMC), the largest U.S. military housing owner, today announced that they have generated over 116,000 MWh of solar energy, in support of the sustainability goals of the U.S. Military. HMC, the largest owner of privatized military housing in the United States, owns approximately 52,000 homes spread across more than 40 military installations on Navy, Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps bases. The installation of solar panels in Hunt communities across the country has been a pillar of the company’s efforts, for which it was recognized with Duke Energy’s long-standing Power Partner award for 2019. Photo: Dover Air Force Base in Delaware

EVERGY’S ENERGY TRANSITION

Evergy, Elliott Management agree on a renewable-increasing strategic plan, avert a sale, The Business Journals. Evergy Inc. announced on Wednesday a new five-year strategic plan designed to speed its transition to cleaner energy and — importantly — to do so as a stand-alone company.

GROUND-BREAKING FORM OF SOLAR CELL

Solar Energy Breakthrough Paves Way For Electricity-Generating Colorful Windows, The Independent

Researchers in South Korea have manufactured a ground-breaking form of solar cell using thin films of colored copper. The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) successfully tested the cells by coating thin layers onto films of glass substrate. The researchers discovered that the innovative cells have a higher sunlight absorption rate than other non-silicon based solar cells, resulting in a higher conversion efficiency and longer stability.


JOB LISTINGS

Clean Energy Group (CEG) and the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) seek a Project Manager to work on the organizations’ initiatives related to solar and energy storage for low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities and environmental justice communities, with an emphasis on outreach to state energy agencies and community-based organizations. For more information, see www.cleanegroup.org and www.cesa.org.

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) is hiring a full-time management and program analyst to serve as the National Community Solar Partnership program lead. This role is a federal supervisory position at the GS-14 level. Responsibilities include managing complex, multi-partner technical assistance programs; coordinating a team of solar energy technical experts to plan and carry out these programs; developing concepts for new programs and funding mechanisms aimed at reducing the non-hardware, or soft, costs of solar; and more. Apply by August 12.

Industry Vows to Continue Fight for Pro-Solar Policies, Despite Missed Opportunity This Year

SEIA News Release 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today Congress and the White House were unable to agree on including an extension of the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) in an end of year tax package, meaning the credit will decrease at the end of this year. The measure also failed to include energy storage in the ITC. This represents a missed opportunity to take an achievable step to boost the economy, add jobs and reduce carbon emissions.

Following is a statement from Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association on this development: 

“While I’m disappointed by this missed opportunity to boost the U.S. economy and jobs, and tackle climate change, I’m heartened that voter support for clean energy policies is at an all-time high. The solar ITC is a proven way to generate tens of billions of dollars in private investment each year, while substantially reducing carbon emissions. We will look for opportunities next year to again engage our incredibly supportive solar community and work with Congress on clean energy policies that work for all Americans.” Read the entire news release here.

Additional Recommended Reading

The new language of climate change: Trillions

By Joel Makower, Chairman & Executive Editor, GreenBiz Group

In the ramp-up to Climate Week, unfolding in hundreds of events across New York City over the next five days or so, there’s been a raft of reports, commitments and declarations touting big, big numbers. It’s a clear sign that the money side of climate change — both costs and opportunities — is rising in lockstep with a recognition of the stakes to people and the planet.

Witness a sampling of stories from just the past week. And these don’t include trillions more of banks’ and investors’ money. And as forests burn, oceans warm, cities parch and crops wilt — exactly as was predicted some decades ago, but also faster than some expected — this influx of capital commitments is a welcome sign that higher ambition is on the near-term horizon. In a word: Priceless. Read the entire article here.

Previously Posted

Here’s how 6 countries are stepping up to meet the Paris climate goals

By Julia Rosen, Los Angeles Times

World leaders are gathering in New York for Monday’s Climate Action Summit. The summit’s goal, according to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, is to encourage countries to get serious about climate change. “Don’t come with a speech,” Guterres has warned. “Come with a plan.”

You can follow the latest Paris pledges at the World Resources Institute’s Climate Watch.

Read the entire article here.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

Youth are calling for immediate climate action, and majority of Americans agree

By Oliver Milman. Previously published by Guardian US.
Republished by GreenBiz

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

Two-thirds of Americans believe climate change is either a crisis or a serious problem, with a majority wanting immediate action to address global heating and its damaging consequences, major new polling has found.

“Americans are finally beginning waking up to the existential threat that the climate emergency poses to our society,” said Margaret Klein Salamon, a clinical psychologist and founder of the Climate Mobilization Project. “This is huge progress for our movement — and it’s young people that have been primarily responsible for that.” Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading  

Nebraska Climate Strike – Lincoln
Friday, September 20, 2019
Meet at Nebraska Union’s Green Space at 2:30 PM on UNL’s campus.
March begins at 3 PM to Nebraska State Capitol Building, 1445 K Street.
Join this event on Facebook. 

Omaha Climate Strike
Friday, September 20, 2019 – 8 AM to 12 PM
Omaha City Hall steps, 1819 Farnam Street
Click here for details.

Save the Date! October 4, 2019: Third Annual Nebraska Youth Climate Summit at the Nebraska Innovation Campus. Flyer Posted Here. Register Here.

More Nebraska News

Central Community College campuses reduce carbon emissions by 40%, KSNB
“We have a goal by 2024 for all of our campuses to be carbon neutral,” Environmental Sustainability Director Ben Newton said. 

 Previously Posted News Stories, Opinion & Resources

We Are Still In Coalition

Almost 4,000 states, cities, counties, companies, universities, colleges and other institutions are now members of the We Are Still In coalition, which is committed to meeting the U.S. emissions goals under the Paris Agreement. Coalition leaders currently represent over 150 million people and nearly $9.5 trillion in GDP.

Environment America Resources

Climatologist warns climate change will lead to more flooding in Nebraska

By Sydnie Holzfaster, KPTM Fox 42 News

State officials say more flooding is in Nebraska’s future if nothing is done to reverse climate change. Sunday State Climatologist Martha Shulski spoke with members of the environmental advocacy group Green Bellevue about how climate change is affecting people in Nebraska now and what they can expect in the future. Shulski said people can help the environment by making small changes in their daily life like buying locally sourced products; taking city buses or cutting back on personal driving or investing in renewable energy options for your home and utilities. Read more here.

Join Nebraskans for Solar and allied groups this Thursday, September 12th to learn about renewable energy investment options available in Nebraska for residents, businesses, utilities, schools, and other nonprofits.

Nebraskans for Solar’s September Speaker: David Bracht, Attorney With Kutak Rock and Former Nebraska Energy Office Director

Mr. Bracht will discuss Nebraska’s wind and solar development and our state’s potential for future growth. A Q&A will follow his presentation.

UNO’s Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, Rooms 201/205.

Co-Sponsored by Green Bellevue, Conservation Nebraska, Sierra Club, OTOC’s Environmental Sustainability Action Team.

The Road To A 100% Clean Economy

The 100% clean economy won’t be made in D.C.—it will be led by our businesses, our entrepreneurs, and tens of thousands of local civic and community leaders committed to creating a better future. 

Contributor Fred Krupp, Environmental Defense Fund President, Forbes

The 100% Clean Economy Act announced this week in Congress is the roadmap America needs to drive urgent action that matches the scale of the problem. It provides a starting point and a finish line for business and government working together to solve the climate crisis.

The bill, which will soon be introduced in the House by Rep. Donald McEachin of Virginia, will commit the U.S. to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. That means that by midcentury we’ll release no more climate pollution into the atmosphere than we can remove—across all sectors of the economy. This ambitious goal is consistent with what science tells us we need to do in order to help avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Read more here. 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

  • Markets and Technology May Hold Out the Real Green New Deal: Part I, Forbes
    For business, and especially for big companies with capital and the vision to use it wisely, there is no more pressing issue or greater opportunity than climate change. 
  • Markets and Technology May Hold Out the Real Green New Deal: Part II, Forbes
    There’s been heated debate about the application of environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles to investing. While the U.S. hasn’t yet caught up with Europe in adopting these measures, the tide is turning, with the percentage of American institutional investors spurning ESG outright having decreased this past year from over half (51 percent) to just over a third (34 percent), according to an annual investing survey. This means—following the ‘E’ in ESG—that more business leaders are ready to run with the notion that investing in decarbonization is not only good for the planet, it’s imperative to remain relevant in the market. 

CLIMATE CHANGE / CLIMATE ACTION NEWS

FEATURED RESOURCES

Center For Climate And Energy Solutions (C2ES): U.S. State Climate Action Plans
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. A key objective is a national market-based program to reduce emissions cost-effectively. We believe a sound climate strategy is essential to ensure a strong, sustainable economy.

The Center For Climate Strategies
The Center for Climate Strategies (CCS) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization located in Washington, DC with a small business subsidiary, Collaborative Systems and Strategies, LLC (CSS). It provides government officials and stakeholders worldwide with the expertise and assistance needed to develop and implement solutions that meet immediate and long-term climate, economic, energy, environmental, and equity goals. CCS serves as a catalyst for actions at the national, state, provincial, and local levels in all economic sectors to meet the unique needs of each country and region.

With new board members, Omaha utility making moves toward low-carbon future

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News / Energy News Network

The staff began looking into decarbonization options nearly two years ago, [Mary Fisher, OPPD’s vice president for energy production and nuclear decommissioning] said, but picked up the pace last fall — about the time that new board members interested in cleaner energy were elected. The change stands in contrast to the state’s largest utility, the Nebraska Public Power District, where many board members continue to downplay the urgency of climate change even after catastrophic flooding in the state earlier this year. Fisher said the board is not the only reason the utility is moving toward cleaner energy. “The factor really has been the ongoing conversation about climate change and carbon emissions nationally,” she said. “You’re seeing it on the nightly news reports, you’re seeing it in the presidential debates, you’re seeing it all over.” Read more here.

Photo by Laura King-Homan, OPPD’s The Wire: Visitors view components of the Omaha Public Power District’s Sholes Wind Farm under construction near Wayne, Nebraska in November.

Additional Recommended Reading

American farmers can’t afford this administration’s climate apathy

By Roger Johnson, Opinion Contributor, The Hill

Though the obstacles are many, farmers are actively looking for solutions. We are gathering with neighbors and friends, in church halls and community spaces across the countryside to share ideas for how to adapt to changing weather and reduce emissions. We are implementing conservation practices that sequester carbon in the soil. We are installing on-farm renewable energy producing systems. We are growing corn and other crops for ethanol and other biofuels, renewable energy sources that will power America’s future. And we are working with food companies to reduce the environmental footprint of some of America’s favorite foods.

All of these efforts depend on a strong foundation of objective, publicly funded, and widely-disseminated research. As climate change presents bigger and more complex problems, we will need more of this kind of research — not less. Without continued innovation or access to findings, farmers may not have the tools to face these challenges going forward. But by supporting climate science, this administration can help ensure that farmers are using the best practices on our land to mitigate and adapt to climate change and that policy makers are developing programs and incentives to support those practices. Read more here.

Roger Johnson is a farmer and the president of National Farmers Union, the oldest general farm organization in the United States. NFU represents 200,000 family farmers and ranchers.

According to the USDA’s latest census released April 2019, a total of 133,176 farms and ranches use renewable energy producing systems, more than double the 57,299 in 2012.

Photo: A 25-kilowatt photovoltaic system installed in 2015 powers the Hammond family farm operations west of Benedict, Nebraska. Photo Credit: Matt Ryerson / Lincoln Journal Star
News Story: Farms flexing solar power, Lincoln Journal Star
Installers: MarLin Wind & Solar and North Star Solar Bears

 

Rick Hammond and his family are the subjects of This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Farm, the One Book, One Nebraska pick for 2019. Ted Genoways’ award-winning book is also this year’s All Iowa Reads Selection.

 

Farm Energy Resources

Renewable Energy Could Save $160 Trillion In Climate Change Costs by 2050

By James Ellsmoor, Contributor, Forbes

With development and energy demands soaring worldwide, there is an opportunity for clean, renewable energy to supplant fossil fuels and take over as the main form of electricity generation. New findings published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) have emphasized the need to scale up efforts to transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy.
Continue reading here.