California is powering toward its climate change and clean energy goals

“California has become the face of the resistance to President Trump’s dismantling of climate change policies — and in many ways that reputation is earned. The Golden State gets nearly half its electricity from climate-friendly sources, including solar, wind, hydro and nuclear. Carbon emissions keep inching downward, putting the state on track to reduce planet-warming…

The next energy frontier: Cutting fossil fuel use in buildings

“While the amount of pollution from burning fuel in homes and commercial buildings is a relatively small part of total emissions today — just 11% of U.S. energy-related emissions — it is a roadblock to reaching our 2050 climate targets, according to long-term climate mitigation analyses. Collaborative global initiatives can help individual countries to reduce…

California’s climate fight gets harder soon, and the big culprit is cars

“Emissions-reduction must hit 40 percent by 2030 and twice that by 2050. In 12 years, half the state’s energy must come from renewable sources such as wind and sun. California’s 14 million buildings must operate twice as efficiently, and the number of electric cars on the road will have to multiply more than 10 times. Failure…

A silver lining from California’s drought: Water conservation led to reduced energy use and less pollution

“In a new report published Thursday in Environmental Research Letters, a team from UC Davis found that in addition to saving 524,000 million gallons of water over the mandate period, state residents also saved 1830 gigawatt hours of electricity — enough to power 274,000 average homes for a year. That electricity savings meant a reduction…

Climate and weather disasters cost U.S. a record $306 billion in 2017

“A series of devastating hurricanes, wildfires and other extreme weather marked the third-warmest year on record in the contiguous United States. Hurricane Harvey’s extreme rainfall and the most devastating wildfire season on record contributed to $306 billion in damages from climate and weather disasters in the United States in 2017, shattering the previous record by…

1.5 degrees warming and the search for climate justice for the poor

“The difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees is ‘a greater likelihood of drought, flooding, resource depletion, conflict and forced migration,’ a new IPCC draft warns. A far-reaching report being drafted by the United Nations’ authoritative climate science panel explores in comprehensive detail the environmental justice, poverty and other human rights challenges facing the world as…

Environmental justice must be part of climate plan

“Last week, the California Air Resources Board approved a roadmap to achieving the 2030 greenhouse gas reduction targets, but unfortunately it does not say how it will avoid disproportionate impacts in low-income and minority communities. We’ve already seen preliminary data showing that under cap and trade, even though California is on track to reach 2020…

Path to zero carbon: Navigating the urban energy transformation

“This transformation will touch every aspect of city services and infrastructure including energy generation and distribution, heating and cooling systems, building energy efficiency, transportation, water and waste management, and the efficiency of city services such as street lighting. At the same time, city operations are being transformed by digital technologies such as the Internet of…

The melt of the arctic will dry California out, study finds

As the Arctic melts, droughts such as the recent 2012–2016 one in California will likely become much more prevalent — owing to the warming of the Arctic leading to the development of high-pressure atmospheric ridges in the Northern Pacific off of the coast of California, which will steer storms towards Canada and Alaska. While this…

Analysts worry California climate change program is doing too well

California is swimming in $1.5 billion in new money for clean energy programs and the high-speed rail project, after lawmakers extended the climate-change program, cap-and-trade. But analysts suggest the current boom could ultimately undermine the program’s purpose of cutting long-term emissions. Sales of cap-and-trade credits—which businesses must obtain in order to legally emit greenhouse gases—have…
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