A new report from the Coalition for Urban Transitions, “Climate Emergency, Urban Opportunity,” finds that low-carbon cities can reduce emissions while offering tremendous economic opportunities. Researchers found that investing in 16 low-carbon measures in cities could cut global urban emissions by 90 percent by 2050 and has a net present value of almost $24 trillion, equivalent to nearly one-third of the global GDP in 2018. This means that between now and 2050, the total benefits of these investments will exceed their total costs by almost $24 trillion. Broken down by years, an average annual investment of $1.8 trillion (about 2 percent of global GDP in 2018) would yield returns of $2.8 trillion per year by 2030, and $6.9 trillion per year by 2050. Read more here.
It’s time for companies to make the leap from action to advocacy, by Bill Weihl, former Facebook Director of Sustainability, GreenBiz. So here’s my call to action to companies: go “all-in” on climate, not just in your operations, your supply chain and your products, but in your advocacy. Stop supporting climate deniers — whether politicians, think tanks or trade associations — and start using your influence to help pass policies that will drive the transformations we need. In other words, adopt a science-based climate policy strategy. The principles above are a good starting point.
Over 100 and counting, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis To date, over 100 and counting globally significant financial institutions have announced their divestment from coal mining and/or coal-fired power plants. New announcements are occurring on average every week.
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.
Minnesota’s West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan Area School District steps out as a climate leader with broad support from students, staff, and the community.
On Monday, the District 197 School Board passed a resolution establishing the goal of transitioning the school district to 100% clean electricity by 2020. District 197 has made great strides toward 100% clean electricity and this resolution formalizes the district’s commitment.
This effort was led by district leaders, students from the LIVEGREEN club, and supported by Sierra Club’s Climate Parents program. Students presented a petition to the board with more than 1,000 signatures they collected from district students, parents, and staff. Read more here.
Photo Credit: Black Rock Solar
About Climate Parents
Climate Parents is a diverse national movement of parents, grandparents and families mobilizing for clean energy and climate solutions. We work to influence public policy makers and energy providers to take bold steps to protect kids and communities from the health and climate impacts of burning fossil fuels—and to move toward 100% clean energy. Motivated by love for our kids, we’re striving to harness the moral and political force of millions of families for the healthy, equitable and just world all children deserve.
Nearly 300 coal-fired power plants have been “retired” since 2010 according to the Sierra Club, a trend that continues despite President Trump’s support for coal. That’s left many communities worried those now idled places will simply be mothballed. “We don’t want to see sites like this rust away, be eyesores on the community and offer no real tax revenue going forward, no employment opportunities,” says Denise Brinley, Executive Director at the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of Energy. Her state has been hit with 14 coal plants shut down in the past 9 years, and so the Department of Community and Economic Development has created a plan for redeveloping some of them. Continue reading here.
Analysis: New wind, solar cheaper than operating most existing coal plants, Energy News Network. Locally generated solar and wind energy could already replace almost three-fourths of electricity made by U.S. coal plants for less than the cost of continuing to operate those plants, according to an analysis released by two clean energy research groups. By 2025, the share of “at risk” coal generation will jump from 74 percent to 86 percent, adds the report by Energy Innovation Policy & Technology in San Francisco and Boulder-based Vibrant Clean Energy.
Ohio approves two huge solar projects, PV Magazine Ohio Power Siting Board has approved 470 MWac of solar and 60 MWac of batteries in two separate projects, as another confirmation of the coming boom in the state and the Midwest.
Colorado Town Aims For 100% Renewable Electricity By 2035, Solar Industry According to the Sierra Club, Frisco joins the City of Golden as the second Xcel Energy-powered community to commit to 100% renewable energy in 2019. Eleven total Colorado cities – including Denver, Ft. Collins and Pueblo, plus Pueblo and Summit Counties – have made 100% renewable commitments since 2017, says the Sierra Club.
The first ever Drive Electric Earth Day was celebrated with 188 events in 44 US states and 5 countries! Read the press release about the week, and check out some great photos of people enjoying the events. Drive Electric Earth Day and National Drive Electric Week are presented by Plug In America, Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association.
National Drive Electric Week will be held September 14 – 22, 2019. Nebraska events will be posted on Nebraskans for Solar’s and allied organizations’ calendars closer to that date. Mark your calendars for this annual celebration and plan to join other local EV enthusiasts to talk about driving electric.
If you’re thinking of organizing or helping at an event, join National Drive Electric Week organizers for a webinar: Organizing A Great 2019 Event on Friday, May 31, 2019 at 12 pm CDT.
MORE GREEN TRANSPORTATION NEWS PUBLISHED BY THE OMAHA WORLD-HERALD
In states with a weak renewables standard, or none at all, a key battle over an electric utility’s solar deployment plan is fought in a regulatory proceeding triggered by the utility’s filing of an integrated resource plan (IRP)—at least in the 33 states that require utility IRPs.
In theory, to develop an IRP, a utility uses an optimization model that spits out the least-cost mix of future generation resources to meet projected demand, plus a reserve margin. As prices for solar, wind, and storage fall, you would expect to see these plans reflecting an increasing percentage of renewable generation. Yet a utility controls the inputs to the model, and selects which scenarios to consider, so it can skew the model results in ways that disadvantage solar and other clean energy resources. Read more here.
William Driscoll, MPA, JD, is an energy and environmental policy analyst who has worked primarily for the United States Environmental Protection Agency via the firm ICF Consulting. More articles from William Driscoll
National Geographic Documentary Produced in Partnership
With Bloomberg Philanthropies
Spotlighting the cities, states, businesses and citizens taking action, Paris to Pittsburgh explores the very real social and economic impacts of climate change-fueled disasters, from America’s heartland to the nation’s coastlines. The film features voices from local leaders as well as everyday Americans presenting the stories behind climate-related recovery and resiliency, as well as innovative efforts to reduce carbon emissions, including boomtowns formerly reliant on coal such as Pittsburgh. Other locations featured in the film include Puerto Rico, California, Iowa, Florida and New Jersey. Click top image to begin watching the film.
About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies has committed more than $260 million to move the nation towards clean energy and tackle climate change. The Bloomberg-backed Beyond Coal initiative, which aims to secure the retirement of half the nation’s coal fleet, has already led to the closure or phasing out of 270 coal-fired power plants and helped to prevent more than 5,550 premature deaths per year. Additionally, Bloomberg Philanthropies supports sustainability in cities around the globe through C40, a network of more than 90 global megacities, and other programs including the American Cities Climate Challenge, a $70 million accelerator program to provide 20 cities with powerful new resources to help them meet – or beat – their near-term carbon pollution goals.
Save the Date! Nebraskans for Solar’s Earth Month speaker will be Mary DeMocker, author of The Parents’ Guide To Climate Revolution: 100 Ways To Build A Fossil-Free Future, Raise Empowered Kids, and Still Get A Good Night’s Rest. Click herefor details and to RSVP.
The carbon intensity goal passed on a 6-2 vote. The goal could change if the board revisits the issue after January, when newly elected board members — including three clean energy supporters — are seated. A debate about carbon intensity also surfaced recently in Iowa, where
MidAmerican Energy won regulatory approval last week for a 591-megawatt wind farm known as Wind XII. In its application, the utility’s president and CEO, Adam Wright, noted that the project would lower the utility’s carbon intensity to about 638 pounds per net megawatt-hour, compared to 1,839 pounds per megawatt 15 years ago, before it began investing in wind energy. “The carbon intensity, even if it’s calculated correctly, doesn’t mean they’ve reduced their emissions that much,” said Paul Chernick, an attorney representing the Sierra Club in the case. Read the entire article here.
OPPD’s board set to take an environmental tilt. What will it mean for electricity costs?,
Omaha World-Herald. The costs of OPPD going further, faster on renewables and carbon are not yet clear. OPPD officials have said they had not yet determined how much more, if any, customers are paying for electricity because of the renewable energy the utility has already added to the mix . . . People should not draw a direct correlation between renewables and rising rates, said Javier Fernandez, the district’s chief financial officer . . . If the next OPPD board aims the utility at 100 percent renewables or zero carbon, [Russ Baker, director of OPPD’s environmental and regulatory affairs] said OPPD management will work with them to mull what that would look like, what it might cost and how technology would need to change.
CARBON CAPTURE RESEARCH DOE spent more than $500M on dead projects, E&E News Nearly half the $2.7 billion in fossil research money spent by the Department of Energy over the last seven years supported nine carbon capture demonstration projects, the majority of which were canceled or withdrawn.
Reinventing Power: America’s Renewable Energy Boom is a new documentary from the Sierra Club in which people across the U.S. tell their own stories about how solar and wind have changed their lives and benefitted their communities.
Over 50 minutes long, this film explores issues of community access and energy equity; lost jobs and newfound opportunities; economic diversification and household security; reshaping our energy sector and redefining power. – Transit Pictures, film producer