Think Covid-19 Disrupted the Food Chain? Wait and See What Climate Change Will Do
July 07, 2020
By Georgina Gustin
Climate change will massively disrupt the global food supply chain. The impact of Covid19 on the world's food supply chains has been challenging for sure... but this has only been a partial test of what humanity will face due to the disruption from extreme weather changes and other threats to our food sources.
The truth about the future of gas: We don't need to build anymore
June 22, 2020
By David Wooley
A new study from UC Berkeley provides the latest answer, demonstrating it is technically and economically feasible to reach 90% clean electricity by 2035 without building any new gas plants and reducing generation from existing plants by 70%, all without any increase in wholesale power costs compared to today.
Plunge in carbon emissions from lockdowns will not slow climate change
May 20, 2020
By Alejandra Borunda
In May, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere crept up to about 418 parts per million. It was the highest ever recorded in human history and likely higher than at any point in the last three million years.
That record was broken in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, even though the health crisis has driven one of the largest, most dramatic drops in CO2 emissions ever recorded.
During the peak of the global confinements in the first quarter of the year, daily emissions were about 17 percent below last year’s, according to research published this week in Nature Climate Change.
But even such big drops in carbon dioxide emissions will have little impact on overall CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, says Richard Betts—a scientist at the U.K.’s Met Office—and that’s what matters most for climate change.
Reversing the Climate Crisis Isn't On You. We Need to Change the Entire System
June 18, 2020
By Tristan Kennedy
For starters, 71 percent of all global carbon emissions come from just 100 companies. While these fossil fuel producers continue to pump out pollution unabated, using a refillable coffee cup makes about as much difference as moving a deckchair on the Titanic two centimetres to the left.
... "We're all living in this toxic system," says Alice Wilby, a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion. Even when there are good options, taking "individual responsibility is often not a matter of choice, but a matter of privilege". Which is why, in common with most climate groups, XR argues that it's the system itself that needs to change, not just the way individuals operate within it.
New report outlines how cities and real estate sector can partner to fight climate change
June 10, 2020
Contents from this article are originally published by the Urban Land Institute.
Cities across the country have made bold commitments to limit climate change by reducing, and eventually eliminating, the carbon pollution from buildings. But the public sector can't deliver these commitments alone. Following through will require city leaders to work alongside community leaders, including those from the nonprofit and private sectors.
A new report by the Urban Land Institute (ULI), "Decarbonizing the Built Environment: 10 Principles for Climate Mitigation Policies," summarizes the best thinking from ULI’s Greenprint Center for Building Performance and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) about how the public and private sectors can collaborate more effectively.
Reckoning with the overlooked business risks of climate change
May 28, 2020
By McKinsey Quarterly
How should organizations cope with climate change? As president and executive director of the Woods Hole Research Center, Dr. Philip Duffy has spent much of his career translating climate science for business leaders and policy makers and fostering awareness of how climate change affects society. His colleague, former investment manager Spencer Glendon, joined Woods Hole to explore the pressure that climate change places on the financial system. In these edited excerpts from two interviews, Duffy and Glendon discuss the unforeseen challenges our increasingly unstable climate creates for businesses and governments. “Folks don’t grasp the immediacy, the scope, and the scale of physical climate risk,” says Duffy.
In ‘Strongest’ Climate Ruling Yet, Dutch Court Orders Leaders to Take Action
December 20, 2019
By John Schwartz
The Supreme Court of the Netherlands on Friday ordered the government to cut the nation's greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by the end of 2020. It was the first time a nation has been required by its courts to take action against climate change.
... the decision was groundbreaking. There have been 1,442 climate lawsuits around the world!!
Low-Carbon Cities Are a $24 Trillion Opportunity
September 19, 2019
By Leah Later, Catlyne Haddaoui, and Jake Wellman
In these critical times, cities offer one of the biggest opportunities. With most of the world’s population, economic activity and carbon emissions concentrated in cities, it is becoming ever-more-clear that the fate of cities is the fate of the planet. Science tells us that the world must reach net-zero emissions by 2050 to keep global warming below 1.5°C. A new report from the Coalition for Urban Transitions, Climate Emergency, Urban Opportunity (available to read in the article below), 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% 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.
Climate Emergency: Urban Opportunity
This report, a collaborative effort of more than 50 organisations brought together by the Coalition for Urban Transitions, is being launched in September 2019 in advance of the Climate Action Summit and Sustainable Development Goals Summit in New York. The aim of the Summits, hosted by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, is to accelerate action to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement.
The Coalition for Urban Transitions is a global initiative to support national governments in transforming cities to accelerate economic development and tackle dangerous climate change. Collectively, the contributors hope this report will provide the evidence and confidence that governments need to submit more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions in 2020, and to propel inclusive, zero-carbon cities to the heart of their national development strategies.
Climate, Nature, and our 1.5 degrees Celsius Future Report
By WWF International
The report outlines the urgent need for countries to work with cities and businesses towards a 'just transition' in the face of increasing pressures from a warming world. Strong leadership and immediate action is required to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius to halt climate change in its tracks.
UN Climate Action Summit 2019
By the United Nations
The impacts of climate change are being felt everywhere and are having very real consequences on people’s lives. The latest analysis shows that if we act now, we can reduce carbon emissions within 12 years and hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C and even, as asked by the latest science, to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres is calling on all leaders to come to New York on 23 September with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050.
Students From 1,600 Cities Just Walked Out of School to Protest Climate Change. It Could Be Greta Thunberg's Biggest Strike Yet
May 24, 2019
By Suyin Hanes
Hundreds of thousands of students around the world walked out of their schools and colleges Friday in the latest in a series of strikes urging action to address the climate crisis. According to event organizers Fridays for Future, over 1664 cities across 125 countries registered strike actions, with more expected to report turnouts in the coming days.
What Is the Green New Deal? A Climate Proposal, Explained
February 21, 2019
By Lisa Friedman
The Green New Deal is a congressional resolution that lays out a grand plan for tackling climate change.
Introduced by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, both Democrats, the proposal calls on the federal government to wean the United States from fossil fuels and curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions across the economy. It also aims to guarantee new high-paying jobs in clean energy industries.
A coalition of giant brands is about to change how we shop forever, with a new zero-waste platform
January 26, 2019
By Adele Peters
For consumers, the process is designed to be as seamless as possible. “The goal isn’t as much to get you to change, it’s instead to create systems that don’t make you change–but have you then solve the issue in the process,” Szaky says. “Creating consumer change is phenomenally difficult. So the first question we asked in developing the model was why did disposability win? Why did it take over? I think it did because disposability is convenient and affordable.”
Others have tried to tackle the problem of trash through other models, like refillable packaging or zero-waste grocery stores. But when those solutions fall short of the convenience or affordability of standard plastic packaging, they struggle to gain mass adoption. Loop aims to be essentially as convenient as throwing something in the trash; you don’t even need to rinse the container, so in that respect, it’s simpler than recycling.
China Built The World’s Biggest Air Purifying Tower And It Works!
January 19, 2019
By Andrea D. Steffen
An experimental tower has been built in Xian in Shaanxi province, northern China that is said to be the largest air purifier in the world standing at over 100 meters (328 feet) high. It has been undergoing testing by researchers at the Institute of Earth Environment at the Chinese Academy of Sciences to quantify its effectiveness. Authorities are seeking ways to tackle the nation’s chronic smog problem and this could be a good solution if they can prove it works well. The scientist leading the project claim it has brought a noticeable improvement in air quality, although further testing is required.
25 Years Ago I Coined the Phrase “Triple Bottom Line.” Here’s Why It’s Time to Rethink It.
June 25, 2018
By John Elkington
For those not familiar with it, the triple bottom line is a sustainability framework that examines a company’s social, environment, and economic impact. So why recall it now? After all, since the 1990s, the sustainability sector has grown rapidly, though at around $1 billion in annual revenues globally it is no giant...
But success or failure on sustainability goals cannot be measured only in terms of profit and loss.
...To truly shift the needle, however, we need a new wave of TBL innovation and deployment. But even though my company, Volans, consults with companies on TBL implementation, frankly, I’m not sure it’s going to be enough. Indeed, none of these sustainability frameworks will be enough, as long as they lack the suitable pace and scale — the necessary radical intent — needed to stop us all overshooting our planetary boundaries.
Paris hopes to create a forest 5 times bigger than NYC’s Central Park
February 28, 2018
By Lacey Cooke
Paris has been forging a reputation recently for battling urban air pollution, and now they’re considering a 1,350-hectare suburban forest. The Syndicat Mixte d’Aménagement de la Plaine de Pierrelaye-Bessancourt (SMAPP) project could create a forest five times the size of New York City’s Central Park, around 18 miles northwest of the center of Paris. Business Insider said the location is currently a wasteland, serving as an unofficial landfill, but the SMAPP plan would transform the area into a lush space with hiking trails, conservation areas, and almost one million trees.
Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation: Net Zero Energy Wastewater Treatment Plants
The Foundation’s Net Zero Energy Wastewater Treatment Program will award grants to wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) committed to achieving site net zero energy (NZE) performance, or better. Plants must maximize energy efficiency and offset all of their energy consumption with on-site generation from renewable resources. Grant payments will be tied to performance.
Pittsburgh leads North America in properties committed to 50 percent reductions in energy, water, emissions by 2030
May 16, 2017
by Aurora Sharrard
A city once known for steel and heavy industry, Pittsburgh has transformed itself into an economy founded on education, finance, healthcare, technology and sustainability.
In collaboration with the international 2030 District Network, the Pittsburgh 2030 District announced in its 2016 Progress Report that property partners cut $19 million in 2016 energy costs by implementing innovations in lighting, heating, cooling, and ventilation, totaling $53 million in savings since initial reporting.
RE100 Progress and Insights Report: January 2018
Approaching a Tipping Point:
How Corporate Users are Redefining Global Electricity Markets
Renewable electricity is no longer a niche demand of a few companies looking to ‘do the right thing’ solely for their corporate social responsibility efforts. As prices continue to plummet, renewables make clear business sense.
This is the third annual report of RE100. It tracks the progress of member companies working towards their 100% goals, provides key annual findings of RE100, and gives insights into some of the most critical issues around the role of businesses in future energy markets.
Check out the article that mentioned this report here.
50th US city commits to 100% renewable energy
December 08, 2017
By Sierra Club
Across the U.S. over 50 cities, five counties and one state, have already adopted ambitious 100% clean energy goals. Five cities in the U.S.--Aspen CO, Burlington, VT, Greensburg, KS, Rock port, MO, and Kodiak Island, AK--have already hit their targets. These five cities now generate 100% of the energy used community-wide from clean, non-polluting and renewable sources. A city commitment to 100% renewable energy is a mandate for action.
Numerous U.S. cities have made public commitments to cut carbon and address climate change through initiatives like the Compact of Mayors, We Are Still In, or by establishing their own Climate Action Plans.
Energy in 2050: Clean, free, and for all
August 11, 2017
By Sohail Hasnie
Today, the energy industry is at a crossroads. Looking far into the future, it's hard to make an accurate forecast of what the energy industry will look like in 2050.
The disruption to the energy industry has already begun, with core changes in the availability of solar power, batteries with the capability to store massive amounts of electricity, and energy efficient appliances. These changes are affecting the energy industry demand pattern. Now, the demand is actually declining in many countries, driving up prices as the value of the asset is fixed and new investments are needed.
Copenhagen, striving to be Carbon Neutral: The economic payoffs
August 16, 2017
By John J. Berger
The city is rapidly moving toward meeting the goal of its 2025 Climate Plan to become the world's first carbon-neutral city by 2025, reducing or offsetting all carbon emissions. As it does so, officials are confirming the same policies that protect the climate also improve the capital city's economy and global competitiveness.
Copenhagen has succeeded in reducing its carbon emissions by more than 40 percent since 1990, even as its population has grown by 50 percent. The city is now home to nearly 600,000 people, with greater Copenhagen comprising 2 million people.
Dutch Electric Trains become 100% powered by Wind Energy
January 10, 2017
By Agence France-Presse in The Hague
All Dutch electric trains are now powered by wind energy, the national railway company NS has said. The goal to have all trains running on wind energy in the Netherlands was set to January 2018, but they were able to achieve this as of January 1st this year.
Why do we need to go to 100% renewable?
By burning and depleting the world’s natural resources, the conventional energy system has led to multiple convergent existential crises, including climate change, air and water pollution, destruction of the oceans, the threat of mass extinction, water and food shortages, poverty, nuclear radiation problems, nuclear weapons proliferation, fuel decline, and geopolitical tension.
However, the world’s climate and energy security issues are not caused by energy, but rather to the fuel we are using. Fortunately, renewable energy is clean, abundant, and far less water intensive than non-renewable energy.
Despite this basic logic, most of humanity so far has taken measures nowhere near proportional to the problem. One fundamental necessity to breaking the inertia is a robust, global campaign for 100% renewable energy.
What is Carbon Neutrality?
Carbon Neutrality refers to achieving net zero carbon emissions by balancing a measured amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset, or buying enough carbon credits to make up the difference.
The Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance is a collaboration of international cities committed to achieving aggressive long-term carbon reduction goals.
C40 is a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change.
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