climate change

China set to dominate renewable energy manufacturing

A recently released International Energy Agency (IEA) report states that renewables are set to account for over 90% of global electricity expansion over the next five years, with China retaining a 75-90% share in global renewable manufacturing capacity. China has released its 14th 5-year plan and is expected to account for almost half of the new global renewable power capacity additions over the 2022-2027 period. Meanwhile, the US Inflation Reduction Act has provided new support and long-term visibility for the expansion of renewables in the United States.

Arkansas, Indiana and California form international agreements on tech innovation, climate change and manufacturing

Three states — Indiana, California and Arkansas — have recently participated in international diplomacy, creating strategic connections and developing agreements to address climate change and trade barriers with the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Canada. These recent agreements may suggest a shift toward innovation-focused diplomacy at the state level with nations across the globe.

IPCC report urges swift action to address climate change

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) contains strong warnings that failure to prevent global warming from increasing more than 1.5 degrees Celsius will result in inevitable increases in climate hazards. The Working Group II report is the second installment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report. It assesses the impacts, adaptation capabilities, and vulnerabilities of socioeconomic and natural systems in response to climate change and highlights with increasing alarm the need to address risks resulting from human-induced climate change and the importance of understanding the intersectionality of these risks.

US National Climate Assessment underway, input sought

Since 1990, the United States has produced its own national climate assessment report to, in the words of the project’s director Allison Crimmins, “provide Americans with information on the accelerating impacts, vulnerabilities and responses to the climate crisis.” Work on the fifth assessment is well underway and NOAA has made available for public comment annotated outlines of each of the 32 chapters included in the draft report.  In addition to the public comments on the report, there are a series of open workshops daily over the next several weeks to allow the public to engage more actively in the process. The list of topics and schedule of times are available here.

23 global cities, 58 million people to benefit from $2B UrbanShift program

The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and its partners announced that they will provide at least $1.8 billion in funding and financing to 23 more cities across nine countries to implement integrated development approaches to improve efficiency, inclusivity and resilience against climate change. 

Billions proposed in bond proposals and other state initiatives to address climate change

Voters on both coasts may be asked to approve funding this year to help combat the challenges of climate change. Governors in both New York and California are proposing measures to tackle environmental issues, with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo launching a “Restore Mother Nature Act,” which his office is calling the nation’s most aggressive program for habitat restoration and flood reduction, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing a climate budget that would invest $12.5 billion over the next five years.

NC, PA advancing climate initiatives

Last week Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf issued an executive order directing the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), joining nine other Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states in a market-based collaboration to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and combat climate change. And in North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper’s Climate Change Interagency Council presented four key plans related to clean energy and climate change, the result of the governor’s executive order signed last year to reaffirm the state’s commitment to fighting climate change and transition the state to a clean energy economy.

States take the lead on climate change

When Gov. Janet Mills addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 23, it was the first time a sitting governor of Maine has been asked to address the body. She had been invited as part of her participation in the UN Climate Action Summit 2019, and has made tackling climate change and embracing renewable energy key priorities of her administration. She is not the only governor stepping into the role where the federal government has backed out. Twenty five states are now part of the United States Climate Alliance; a collection of states that have committed to taking action that addresses the climate challenge and implement policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreements, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. Mills, along with governors from Illinois, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico and Pennsylvania, all joined this year. They are part of the increasing action seen across the states in clean energy, climate change and carbon reduction. This story takes a look at some of the 2019 developments in the states.

Tech Talkin’ Govs, part 6: Education, workforce, climate change top TBED agendas

Educating the next generation of workers, ensuring they will have the skills necessary for the jobs of the future and paying attention to the actions that will affect the climate are all on the agendas of the latest round of governors giving their state of the state and budget addresses. A focus on skills can be seen in addresses from governors in California, Maine, Michigan, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. States are also continuing with initiatives to forward attention on climate change, as reflected in Maine’s climate agenda and Michigan joining other states in the Climate Alliance.

Economic development and the tipping point

As the number of weather-related news stories increase, more Americans are recognizing the world’s climate is changing (see here and here, for instance). Cold temperatures and large amounts of precipitation may hold our immediate attention (we are, after all, a culture increasingly obsessed with the short-term, instant or immediate), but a larger story is unfolding that has the scientists who have studied various aspects of climate-related issues for decades increasingly using a two-word phrase that could have terrifyingly significant repercussions if, and when, we can look back to see it is truly happening. The phrase is tipping point – that moment when certain aspects fueling climate change will fuel themselves, creating feedback loops independent of our own future behavior. 

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