Bridging the Gap between NDC Commitments and NDC Implementation

Lord Nicholas Stern at COP 22 in Marrakech, Morocco

During this morning’s Joint High Level Segment, U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Jonathan Cooper Pershing delivered the U.S. National Statement. Addressing the combined meeting of the COP22/CMP12/CMA1, Pershing said, “With the policies already in place, the United States is well-positioned to meet its Paris Agreement targets” and that through current market trends, “the transition to clean…
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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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UK hits new carbon low

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The United Kingdom’s carbon emissions have fallen to their lowest level since the 1920s. Coal consumption in 2015 fell 22% from 2014, and led to a 4% decrease in GHG emissions. Renewable energy produced 25% of the UK’s electricity in 2015. This trend is expected to continue in 2016, as four coal plants closed in March. The Cameron government has pledged…
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Global renewable investment surges in 2015

global trends in RE investment

From UNEP and Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s new report, called Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2016: global investment in renewable energy was more than twice that in coal and gas in 2015. Renewable energy investment totaled a record $286 billion last year, with more than half of it ($156 billion) in the highest GHG-emitting developing countries  – China,…
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Decoupling GHGs from GDP: Year 2

IEA 2015

The International Energy Agency (IEA) released new data today showing that global GHG missions related to energy held steady again for the second year in a row while the global economy grew. Renewable energy was key to stabilizing emissions levels, with more than 90% of new energy generation coming from renewables – the highest level in more than 40 years….
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Cleaning up India’s energy mix

dehli pollution

2015 marked the first time that the average Indian was exposed to more air pollution from fine particulate matter than the average Chinese, reports Greenpeace. In response, India has introduced new taxes aimed at cutting pollution and reducing emissions.  The country’s finance minister announced this week a tax of up to 4% on new passenger vehicles.  It’s estimated…
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The State of the U.S. States on Renewable Energy

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A new study on state renewable portfolio standards (RPS) concludes that in 2013 these state energy laws yielded $7.4 billion in benefits while costing only $1 billion. Conducted by researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the study specifically estimates that $2.2 billion in benefits came…
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Renewables can lead to 80% CO2 reduction in US electricity production

green-plant-in-the-light-bulb

Last week’s edition of Nature Climate Change includes a new study done by NOAA and University of Colorado Boulder that helps us understand how the United States can meet its INDC pledge. From the abstract:  Carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation are a major cause of anthropogenic climate change. The deployment of wind and solar power reduces these…
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The Ying and the Yang of the Low Carbon Economy

Montgomery Cty Division

  The call for a new low carbon economy is echoing through the halls of COP 21. In the opening ceremony, French President Francois Hollande, Prince Charles, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon all urged the world to transition to a new low carbon economy.   Making that transition requires action on multiple fronts….
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Will You Under 2 MOU?

Cuomo

The subnationals are firmly in the game.  At COP19 in Warsaw, they had their orange pinnies on while stretching and sprinting on the sidelines, showing the ADP coaches that they were ready.  “Bring in the subs” was my favorite 2014 blog headline. Yesterday New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo decided that California’s Jerry Brown shouldn’t get all the…
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“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”

tale of two cities

“… it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we…
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As goes California, so goes the Nation?

California solar

Just a month after the U.S. submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the UNFCCC Secretariat, California Governor Jerry Brown has announced new, ambitious GHG emission mitigation goals for the state. While the U.S. is being chided internationally for its INDCs’ lack of mitigation and adaptation “ambition,” California is getting the limelight for stepping…
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Renewable energy “disruption”

wind energy

Climate Nexus Energy Desk news services asks us to think about how fast and furious renewable energy sources, like solar and wind, are scaling up.  It reports: “New developments in Japan and Rhode Island, and at electric carmaker Tesla, are advancing the clean energy revolution. Following the Fukushima disaster, Japan is replacing much of its nuclear…
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California’s role in the US INDCs

jerry brown

Lima’s “Call for Climate Action,” as the COP20/CMP10 decisions have been termed, is one for the 196 UNFCCC state parties to heed when preparing their intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) before next December’s COP21. Given that only sovereign countries may be parties to treaties like the UNFCCC, and that most of them rely on a centralized government model of governance, COP discussions on…
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Universal Energy Access

Photo from UN Women

A side event today, entitled “Achieving Universal Energy Access: A development imperative in addressing climate change,” highlighted the need to address global energy poverty. In examining a need to address climate change on a global scale, the emphasis is often on less, not more. But the reality is that 20% of the world lives without sufficient…
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