Obama on Climate Change

obama weekly address

In his weekly address last Friday, President Obama summed up his administration’s record on climate change.  Calling it “one of the most urgent challenges of our time,” he pointed to progress made since 2008.  This includes: clean energy investment (300% increase in wind power, 3000% increase in solar power), lowest carbon emissions from energy in 25 years, continued economic growth,…
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Will the Paris Agreement enter into force this year?

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A  statement released last Friday by the Marshall Islands estimates that it will. It calculates that ratifications – or pledges of ratification – of the Agreement by 58 countries thus far total 54% of global GHG emissions.  As we’ve posted before, entry into force of the Paris Agreement requires ratification by 55 countries representing 55% of emissions….
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The end of gas-fired cars?

oslo downtown

Norwegian Liberal Party MP Ola Elverstuen announced today that Norway’s four leading political parties have agreed on a ban of gasoline-powered cars by 2025. “After 2025 new private cars, buses and light commercial vehicles will be zero-emission vehicles. By 2030, new heavier vans, 75 percent of new long-distance buses, 50 percent of new trucks will…
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SB44 – Next Steps After Paris

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During the last two weeks of May, the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) gathered in Bonn, Germany for their regular midyear meeting.  This session is called SB44, which simply means the 44th meeting of the climate change convention’s subbodies, which include two standing groups, the SBI (Subsidiary Body for Implementation) and SBSTA (Subsidiary…
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Climate Change News from Across the Pond

france frack

Newsflash #1 France has announced that it might stop importing shale natural gas from the United States because it’s extracted using hydraulic fracturing.  Fracking was banned in France in 2011. Two French utilities currently contract with Houston-based Cheniere Energy, which sells them liquified natural gas (LNG) comprised of 40% shale gas. Notably, this policy debate in France is taking place as the US seeks to step up its LNG…
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Climate Talk Vermont

climate talk vermont

Now you too can attend Climate Talk Vermont – Global Ambition, Local Action, VLS’s Earth Day 2016 celebration, thanks to Bob the Green Guy. Co-sponsored with the Vermont chapter of the Sierra Club, this climate change event kicked off with remarks by Aaron Mair, National President of the Sierra Club.  The first panel focused on the global dimensions of…
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Clean cars, clean energy

electric car

This piece in Bloomberg news, The Dirty Road to Cleaner Cars, captures well the conundrum of cleaning up vehicular emissions.  22% of US CO2 emissions come from the transportation sector.  (This number is17% worldwide.) Tesla set records when it launched its Model 3 in April, racking up more than 400,000 reservations for the $35,000 sedan since then. So it’s clear that there…
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US energy use of coal drops big

EIA coal drop

The US Energy Information Administration reported last week that US power plants reduced their use of coal by almost 30% during the past nine years.  In 2015, 739 million short tons of coal were burned to produce electricity, down from a 1.045 billion short tons in 2007, the peak year. Coal use also fell in nearly every state. States with the largest…
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Survey says . . .

political survey results

A new study by Yale and George Mason universities of US registered voters and their attitudes about climate change reports some consistent results:  Democrats are more likely than Republicans to be convinced that human-caused global warming is happening and to support climate action by elected officials. But the studies’ authors dig deeper to show more nuanced shifts in public opinion about climate change.  As they…
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Fair and balanced?

CNN

A recent study concludes that CNN viewers see more fossil fuel ads than reporting on climate change. Oil industry advertisements outstripped climate-related coverage by almost 5 to 1 in periods following major climate announcements, according to Media Matters. For example, after reporting that 2015 was the hottest year on record and that February 2016 was the most abnormally…
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Paris Agreement Signed. What Next?

PA signing

On Friday, April 22, 175 Parties (174 countries + the EU) signed the Paris Agreement at the UN ceremony.  By doing so, they signaled their intent to ratify it, the next step in making the Agreement binding internationally and in their countries. Article 21 of the Paris Agreement requires ratification by at least 55 countries representing at least 55%…
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Today is the day

Here's how I spent Earth Day last year.

Happy Earth Day! ›Since the first Earth Day in 1970, when 20 million Americans celebrated it, the day has gone global.  In 1990, 200 million people in 141 countries took part. ›In 2000, more than 4500 organizations in 180 countries marked the 30th Earth Day in their own ways. Last year, 1 billion people across the globe feted…
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March continues the warming trend

earth on fire

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced yesterday that last month was the 11th straight record warmth month, joining the longest warmth streak in 137 years. March 2016 also stands out for its variance from the 20th century average global temperature:  it was 2.2°F higher than the average over the last century. Gavin Schmidt, Director of the NASA Goddard…
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