Sustainable Arlington

Envision Arlington/Mass. Climate Action Network (MCAN) Chapter


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This page includes content from the Climate Change News blog, which is maintained daily by David Landskov, and content from our old SA blog archives.

  • More than 300 Local Officials from 40 States Call for Green New Deal, End of Fossil Fuels

    Climate Change News Dec 15, 2018 | 06:45 am

    More than 300 Local Officials from 40 States Call for Green New Deal, End of Fossil Fuels The open letter includes a signature from a former high-level Mobil Oil executive. In a little over a month, the so-called Green New Deal has won endorsements from more than three dozen sitting or incoming federal lawmakers as Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) makes a high-profile bid to shift debate over climate change toward policy on the scale of the crisis.  On Friday, the effort got a boost from 311 state and local officials. Forty-four mayors, 63 county and state legislators and 116 city council members were among the officials from 40 states ― including some top oil and gas producers ― who signed an open letter issuing a sweeping, full-throated call for the phaseout of fossil fuels and adoption of Green New Deal-style climate policies. One signatory, L.W. Allstadt, a trustee of the Upstate New York village of Cooperstown, is a former executive vice president of Mobil Oil, the giant that merged with Exxon in 1998 to form the world’s largest publicly traded oil company. “The existence of climate change and its potential disastrous impacts have been known for decades,” Allstadt said in a statement.  “The solutions, primary among which is elimination of the use of fossil fuels, have also been known.”  The letter ― published Friday online and shared in advance with HuffPost ― was organized by Elected Officials to Protect America, a nonprofit formed in 2015 to rally support for local climate action.  It lays out three demands.  It calls for 100 percent renewable energy, though does not[…]

  • Final Dispatch from COP24:  What Just Happened?

    Climate Change News Dec 15, 2018 | 06:00 am

    Final Dispatch from COP24:  What Just Happened? For most of us the UN climate talks — or COP24 — are drawing to a close and home is in sight. That’s probably not the case for hundreds of negotiators who still have a lot to sort out before they can agree on the rules to implement the Paris Agreement, and are likely to work through the night and possibly beyond to do so. After two weeks of protesting, lobbying, greenwashing, setbacks, and admittedly important progress made on the rulebook for the Paris Agreement, the end of the conference offers a time to reflect. I spent two weeks running around the long corridors of the climate conference in Katowice, Poland, striving to make sense of what this was all about. As I leave the conference center one last time, the euphoric momentum that sent shockwaves through the world when the Paris Agreement was reached three years ago has tapered off. As things stand, the historic commitment countries made to collectively reduce emissions and tackle the climate crisis seems more vulnerable than ever to political and corporate obstruction. Inside the negotiations, big oil and gas exporters such as the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Kuwait blocked the welcoming of one of the most important scientific reports warning of the dangers of climate inaction.  The rest of the world seems to have endorsed the more ambitious goal of limiting global temperature to 1.5 degrees — no small feat. Meanwhile, the head of a powerful business lobby representing big corporations and fossil fuel[…]

  • California’s Bus Fleet Will Be 100 Percent Electric by 2040

    Climate Change News Dec 15, 2018 | 05:10 am

    California’s Bus Fleet Will Be 100 Percent Electric by 2040 Any new public transit bus purchased in California by 2029 must be a 100 percent electric vehicle, according to a new unanimous vote by the California Air Resources Board, the state’s clean air agency.  It is the first statewide policy in the United States to require an entire vehicle class go electric, the Union of Concerned Scientists wrote. Within five years, 25 percent of transit agencies’ new bus purchases must be electric vehicles.  That jumps to 50 percent by 2026, and 100 percent by 2029.  This equates to about 14,000 zero-emissions buses on California roads by 2040 — up from 132 today —and will reduce the state’s carbon emissions by 1 million metric tons per year in just two decades.  School buses and privately owned buses are not covered under the policy. In addition to the policy’s climate benefits, another major motivator was that the shift to electric vehicles will help further combat California’s air pollution; the state is home to eight of the top 10 most polluted cities in the U.S., including Los Angeles and Bakersfield. “This is the biggest public transportation breakthrough since we switched from trolleys to diesel buses a century ago,” Jimmy O’Dea, a senior vehicles analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in a statement.  “Bus riders, bus drivers, and anyone who has gulped the exhaust from a passing truck or bus knows we must do something about these vehicles.  Electrifying them is a one-two punch:  we reduce carbon emissions that worsen climate change[…]

  • Friday 14

    Climate Change News Dec 15, 2018 | 04:49 am

    Friday 14

  • We Have 12 Years to Stop Climate Catastrophe.  These Young Activists Have a Plan.

    Climate Change News Dec 14, 2018 | 18:03 pm

    We Have 12 Years to Stop Climate Catastrophe.  These Young Activists Have a Plan. In the wake of the stark U.N. report, direct-action groups like Sunrise Movement and Extinction Rebellion are out to disrupt the fossil fuel economy. On a clear and sunny morning in San Francisco’s downtown SoMa district, 40 people stand side by side with interlinked arms blocking the entrance to the San Francisco Federal Building.  Just a couple of weeks ago this city was shrouded in a suffocating blanket of wildfire smoke that had traveled down from giant blazes in the north.  But the haze has since cleared, and its absence has revealed a clarity of vision which stretches far beyond a healthier air quality index. “I’m here today because we have a 12-year deadline,” Lydia Macy, 18, told HuffPost from behind a 40-foot banner that she was helping to hold up.  “Climate change is the No. 1 issue that we’re facing in the 21st century, and if we don’t fight we won’t have a world to live in.” A student at Berkeley High School, Macy was joined by hundreds of others in this action organized by the Bay Area chapter of Sunrise Movement — a youth-led organization with the mission to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process.  Sunrise Movement’s most recent campaign has been focused on putting pressure on members of Congress to support Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) in pushing for a Green New Deal, a policy proposal aiming to ensure a just and rapid transition to a decarbonized economy. Following a day of[…]

  • More than 680 Gigawatts of New Wind Power to Come Online by 2027

    Climate Change News Dec 14, 2018 | 06:45 am

    More than 680 Gigawatts of New Wind Power to Come Online by 2027 More than 680 gigawatts (GW) of new wind power is expected to come online around the globe in the next decade, according to new research from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. Wood Mackenzie announced this week that it had upgraded its Global Wind Power Market Outlook Update:  Q4 2018 by 2% compared to only a quarter ago, with the majority of the expected growth to occur in the medium-term, boosting annual capacity additions from 2020 to 2023 by an average of 2.7 GW. However, it is the long-term outlook which is most impressive, with Wood Mackenzie analysts forecasting that more than 680 GW worth of new wind power — both onshore and offshore — will be brought online through 2027. In Europe, Wood Mackenzie expects the maturation of the region’s offshore wind sector will act as a strong driver of growth, while both Japan and South Korea are expected to boast an offshore base of over 2 GW each — not bad, considering neither country has more than 100 megawatts worth of offshore capacity. “With 16 GW of offshore wind power capacity installed in Europe by the end of 2018 and more than 47 GW expected to come online in the region from 2018 to 2027, the European offshore sector continues to be a focal point of growth for the wind power industry,” said lead author Luke Lewandowski, director of Americas power & renewables research.  “The European offshore wind power experience has encouraged governments in other regions to support offshore[…]

  • ‘Climate Passport’ for People Driven Away by Global Warming Proposed

    Climate Change News Dec 14, 2018 | 06:00 am

    ‘Climate Passport’ for People Driven Away by Global Warming Proposed A climate researcher proposed on Thursday the establishment of a kind of ‘climate passport’, allowing people who have been driven away from their homes due to the impact of the global warming to move freely around the world.   On the sidelines of the UN climate talks in Poland, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, the founder of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), said that a future ‘climate passport’ could be modeled on the League of Nations Passport, the so-called Nansen Passport, that was first issued to refugees of the Russian civil war in the 1920s to move freely across borders. However, rich developed countries are likely to object to such proposal because of the ‘climate refugees’ that could head their way, the Associated Press points out.    The UN talks on climate in the Polish city of Katowice are taking place two months after the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a special report on the climate situation on the planet, saying the world needs to spend US$2.4 trillion every year until 2035 to slow down the effects of climate change. At the start of the Katowice summit last week, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said that carbon emissions in the world’s developed economies are set to increase this year for the first time in five years, as higher oil and gas use has more than offset dwindling coal consumption. According to the latest available energy data, energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in North America, the European Union (EU),[…]

  • China Open to ‘Uniform’ Climate Rules, Sidestepping Old Allies

    Climate Change News Dec 14, 2018 | 05:10 am

    China Open to ‘Uniform’ Climate Rules, Sidestepping Old Allies Shift comes as EU and China hastily draft proposals to break an impasse on the toughest issues at UN climate talks in Poland. China has signaled it is open to following “uniform” global climate change rules, shifting from its usual push for a clear division of responsibilities for rich and poor countries.  The question of how the rules underpinning the Paris climate agreement will apply to developed and developing countries remains one of the biggest sticking points after nearly two weeks of negotiations in Katowice, Poland. The European Union – along with the US and other rich nations – has been lobbying China to back a flexible system that gives poorer countries time to comply with a set of rules that will govern how countries cut carbon. Xie Zhenhua, China’s special representative on climate change, suggested on Thursday that the country was on board – as long as the developed side helps out. “Developing countries also have varied levels of capabilities,” Xie told reporters.  “Some might need greater flexibilities, while others could voluntarily do more and accept uniform standards.  With more support given to them and enhanced capabilities for these developing countries, they will be able to meet their requirements earlier and faster.” Read more at China Open to ‘Uniform’ Climate Rules, Sidestepping Old Allies

  • Thursday 13

    Climate Change News Dec 14, 2018 | 04:50 am

    Thursday 13

  • More Americans View Climate Change as 'Imminent' Threat: Reuters/Ipsos Poll

    Climate Change News Dec 13, 2018 | 16:06 pm

    More Americans View Climate Change as 'Imminent' Threat: Reuters/Ipsos Poll A growing percentage of Americans see climate change as an “imminent” threat driven mainly by human activity, and more than two-thirds want Washington to work with other nations to combat it, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday. The public concern over global warming in the United States clashes with President Donald Trump’s policies aimed at maximizing fossil fuels production and dismantling climate protections he views as too onerous and costly for industry. Trump last year announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, an accord to curb global warming struck by nearly 200 nations in 2015 that he said would kill American jobs and have no tangible environmental benefit. Delegates from over 130 countries are now meeting in the Polish city of Katowice to write a rulebook for the deal and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday warned failure to reach an agreement would be suicidal. The Reuters/Ipsos poll, taken from Nov. 29 to Dec. 10, found that 35 percent of U.S. adults now see global warming as an “imminent” threat, up from 32 percent in 2017 and 24 percent in 2015. More than half, or 57 percent, also think global warming is caused by “human activity” or “mostly human activity”, according to the survey, up from the 47 percent who attributed it to human activity in a similar poll in 2012. And 69 percent said in the poll that the United States should work with other nations to curb climate change, including[…]