Tag Archives: states leading on climate action

New Report: States Are Laying a Road Map for Climate Leadership

By Sam RickettsRita ClifftonLola Oduyeru, and Bill Holland,
Center for American Progress

There are important lessons that a future U.S. president and Congress should derive from state progress across the country, as well as that of local governments and tribal nations, as they begin to craft a transformative national agenda. Such an agenda should be based on investing in good jobs; building a sustainable economy; creating standards for effective and sustained pollution reductions at the national and local levels; committing to justice and equity; and ending the federal handouts that prop up fossil fuel corporations and their pollution. Read the entire report here.

Download the report as a PDF.

About the Authors
Sam Ricketts is a senior fellow for Energy and Environment at the Center for American Progress. Rita Cliffton is a research associate for Climate and Energy Policy at the Center. Lola Oduyeru is a manager for State and Local Government Affairs at the Center. Bill Holland is the senior director for State Advocacy and Policy at the League of Conservation Voters.

Nebraska is specifically referenced in the report under the topics:

Progress in each key economic sector/Electricity
Nebraska’s Dollar and Energy Saving loan programs were the first in the nation to utilize innovative public financing to deploy energy efficiency projects. Source: National Association of State Energy Officials, U.S. State Energy Program Update: State Projects and Programs Implemented by the State Energy Offices Utilizing SEP Funding

 Agriculture and Land
For farmers who adopt cover crop practices, Iowa offers discounted crop insurance and cost-sharing and Nebraska provides financial incentives. Source: The Izaak Walton League of America, State and Local Soil Health Strategies: Building Soil Health Policy from the Ground Up

Public Domain Photo: U.S. Capitol Building

As Xcel moves toward coal-free, will natural gas remain part of energy mix?

By Kirsti Marohn, Minnesota Public Radio

“We’re concerned that natural gas plants that are being built today are very likely to be too expensive to make sense to operate before they’re even paid off,” said Annie Levenson-Falk, executive director of the Citizens Utility Board of Minnesota, which advocates on behalf of electric ratepayers. Levenson-Falk pointed to a recent report from the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Institute that found that 90 percent of the gas plants being built today will be uneconomical by 2035 — around the time Xcel’s proposed Becker plant would likely be in operation. The company’s plans say it would build the new natural gas plant in the mid-2020s. Read more here.

NON-WIRES ALTERNATIVES

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

GLOBAL DIVESTMENT / REINVESTMENT 

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Photo Credit: Xcel Energy

Want the real deal for a New Deal on climate? Look to the states

By Robert Klee, Ph.D., J.D., lecturer at the Yale School of Forestry &
Environmental Studies and Yale Law School. Posted by GreenBiz.

We should look no further than the blue and red states currently leading on climate to see the strategies in action that would achieve the swift and far-reaching emissions reductions we require. These leading states are setting legally binding, economy-wide, greenhouse gas emissions targets. They’re creating mandatory clean energy requirements for their electric systems. They’re actively procuring grid-scale clean energy, and striving to ensure distributed clean energy is for all homes and businesses, not just the wealthy few. They’re requiring manufacturers to deliver zero emission vehicles, and building the infrastructure to support them. They’re unleashing clean energy investors to provide the private capital to solve this public problem. And they’ve figured out how to bridge the partisan divides that normally stymie any progress on global warming. Read more here.

Originally appearing on the Clean Energy Finance Forum produced by the Yale Center for Business and the Environment, this article is the first in a series by Robert Klee exploring policies from states across the country that, if adopted nationally with sufficient speed and ambition, could form the basis for the deep decarbonization of the U.S. economy. Read the rest of the series here.

Photo by the National Guard posted on Flickr: Flooding at the National Guard’s Camp Ashland, Nebraska facility in March.

Omaha citizens participate in Omaha Climate Strike

Written by Samantha Weideman, Digital Editor, The Gateway

Following the lead of 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, students, educators, advocates and local politicians alike gathered in the morning on Friday, Sept. 20 near Omaha’s City Hall to demand policy change in support of the Global Climate Strike.

The Omaha Climate Strike was organized by Students for SustainabilityOmaha Students Union and the Nebraska Chapter of the Sierra Club. The strikers’ demands were for lawmakers to: “pass a state Climate Action Plan, say no to the Keystone XL Pipeline, transition to regenerative agriculture and harness our renewable energy potential,” according to the Omaha Students Union twitter account. Read more here.

Photo by Avery Cook/The Gateway

Previously Posted

Bipartisan committee recommends Nebraska develop action plan on climate change, Omaha World-Herald, December 29, 2016. A seven-member bipartisan committee voted unanimously to recommend that the Legislature authorize the plan, said State Sen. Ken Haar of Malcolm, one of the co-chairs of the committee. Climate action plans are in place in 34 other states, Haar said.

PDF Download: Final Report Of The LR 455 Special Committee To Create The Framework For a State Climate Action Plan

New National Polling

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

Upcoming Event

Third Annual Nebraska Youth Climate Summit at the Nebraska Innovation Campus, October 4, 2019:

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.