climate change

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.

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.

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. 

DOD already sees adverse effects from climate change at priority installations

Could climate change negatively impact the defense installations important to companies and communities in your state? Chances are good that it already does. A new Department of Defense report to Congress reveals all but six of 79 mission assurance priority installations within DOD are experiencing negative climate change effects such as recurrent flooding, drought, desertification, wildfires, or thawing permafrost.

Green tech transfer: nature-inspired innovation for climate change adaptation

Still treated as a novelty by most mainstream U.S. media, there is growing global use of nature-inspired innovations to deal with a number of challenges and undesired properties of business-as-usual, whether it be infrastructure, agriculture or product design, production, use or disposal. Collectively comprising a number of approaches —such as biomimicry, green chemistry, or regenerative manufacturing — nature-inspired innovation incorporates design and use principles borrowed from and complementary to nature.  The most promising aspects of all of these efforts are their economic value and efficiency compared to life cycle analyses of similar products and processes development through conventional means.

Climate change alarm bell rung; action agenda outlined for cities

Monday’s widely covered release of a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) outlining the climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting  global warming to 1.5°C sounded an alarm bell of scenarios that could ensue if no corrective action is taken. The report includes a summary for policy makers and finds that limiting global warming would require rapid and far-reaching transitions in land, energy, industry and cities. Another report from IPCC released earlier and overshadowed by the global impact report, focuses on specific ways cities around the world could develop a strategic framework to cope with the impacts of climate change. The Cities IPCC report contains input from more than 700 scientists, policy researchers, civic leaders and practitioners from across the planet in a wide range of disciplines, and includes a research and action agenda.


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