An Evaluation of Brazil’s RenovaBio Program

An Evaluation of Brazil’s RenovaBio Program

According to the Paris Accords on Climate Change, each country is to develop its own goals for CO2 reductions and develop a program to meet these goals.  Brazil is an interesting case study in this effort.  Unlike other countries, Brazil has chosen to place a strong emphasis on transportation rather than electrical generation and building efficiency.  Brazil has a long history in renewable fuels with a continuous ethanol blending protocol since 1931.

In December of 2017 the Brazilian government passed the RenovaBio program in record time under the leadership of Congressman Evandro Gussi, pictured below.  Since then, the RenovaBio Committee has quickly moved to work out details of the program which is strongly based on California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard.
In April and May, the proposed protocol was opened to public comment in Brazil.

Canada and climate change: the transition to a low-carbon economy is a golden opportunity

Canada and climate change: the transition to a low-carbon economy is a golden opportunity

Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Prime Minister, has received extensive publicity for his active stance on tackling climate change, a marked contrast to his Southern neighbor, President Donald Trump. However, the provinces and territories of this vast country have a range of specific characteristics and conditions that make it difficult to implement climate policies – and a one-size-fits-all Federal policy simply wouldn’t work.
At a provincial level, for example, British Columbia is known for its pioneering carbon taxation policy, which has delivered revenue-neutral emissions reductions by putting a direct price on carbon at the point of sale and redistributing the revenue within the province. In contrast, Quebec and Ontario favour cap and trade schemes to drive down greenhouse gas emissions, a policy they have built together with states in the US, such as California, to ensure they are in synch with important trading partners. This diversity of approach in Canada is reflective of the very different economic sectors, cultures, terrains and demographics the country is home to – including the rural versus urban distribution of people across different provinces.

GREEN LEADERS RETREAT is JUNE 8th! Accelerating Local Community Solutions Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals

GREEN LEADERS RETREAT is JUNE 8th! Accelerating Local Community Solutions Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals

By Janine Finnell, Executive Director, Leaders in Energy On Friday, June 8th, 2018, green leaders from across the Washington Metro region will explore how to...

Fossil Fuel Swap: New Study Shows ‘Overlooked’ Benefits of Switching from Coal to Gas

Fossil Fuel Swap: New Study Shows ‘Overlooked’ Benefits of Switching from Coal to Gas

A recent report published in Nature Energy by researchers at two UK institutions, the University of Sheffield and Imperial College London, considers the “enabling conditions in Great Britain and the potential for rapid fuel switching in other coal-reliant countries.” The report found that the United Kingdom’s overall carbon emissions dropped by 6% in 2016, thanks to “cleaner electricity production.” Importantly, the report found that the reduction was not due to an increase in lower-carbon nuclear or renewable energy sources, but rather, the underestimated benefits of switching from coal to natural gas energy generation. If a fuel switch can be encouraged to make better use of existing gas infrastructure, the fuel switch may be able to scale up quickly and produce significant near-term emission reductions.

MethaneSAT: Monitoring Methane Emissions From Space

MethaneSAT: Monitoring Methane Emissions From Space

On April 11, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) President Fred Krupp announced the organization’s plans to create and launch a new satellite to monitor and measure global methane emissions—from space.

The ‘groundbreaking’ MethaneSAT plans were unveiled in a TED talk in Vancouver, BC.. The satellite will measure only emissions of methane, the powerful greenhouse gas responsible for roughly one quarter of the manmade global warming we currently experience. Methane is a particularly important cause of climate change because of its potency;while it is not as long-lasting in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, it is “far more devastating” because it traps over 80 times more heat than carbon dioxide in the first twenty years after its release.

Urgency for leadership to spark collective action and transformational change

Urgency for leadership to spark collective action and transformational change

By KERRY WORTHINGTON

As 2017 wraps up, it is becoming clear that leaders need support and an audience. As Janine Finnell, Executive Director, Leaders in Energy, pointed out – change leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Susan B. Anthony did not achieve their visions alone. They always have a supportive team to light the spark of action. The Leaders in Energy community is a global support team to encourage collective action and sincere change.

What started off as a Linked-In group several years ago is now a multigenerational leadership and global action network. In 2017, LERCPA earned its 501(c)(3) status, conducted or participated in 14 events and workshops and expanded the number of its sponsors and benefactors. Much more is planned for 2018.

This 4th annual 2017 Four Generations of Clean Energy and Sustainable Solutions Awards and Holiday Event recognized leaders in each of the four generations in the workplace, e.g., Millennial, Gen X, Baby Boomer, and World War II/Traditionalist.  The event was sponsored by ArlingtonGreen, Longenecker & Associates, and Waterford, Inc. The event benefactors donated door prizes (revealed at the end). This was also Leaders in Energy 50th event!

Water scarcity is a top global risk

Water scarcity is a top global risk

The World Economic Forum is sounding the alarm – water crises are the top global risk over the next decade. Competition for this essential and highly localized resource is aggravating geopolitical conflict in already stressed environments. This was one of the key messages from Sandra Postel of National Geographic, who delivered the keynote address at the April 25 Northern Virginia Community College Green Festival.

Opinion: The frog, climate change, and Trump

Opinion: The frog, climate change, and Trump

There is a short analogy that has been used to explain the human response to climate change (whether in the form of denial, inaction, or delay, or simply nonchalance): that if you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water, he will hop right out, but if you put the frog in a pot of cold water and then turn on the burner, he will remain calmly in the pot until he is fully cooked.

The analogy does provide some insight into our lackadaisical response to a changing climate. From a human perspective, climate change is indeed a slow-moving phenomenon, but geologically-speaking, it is incredibly rapid. As a set of events and changes unleashed primarily by our discovery of fossil fuels some 300 years ago (and dramatically increased rates of extraction and combustion mostly in the last hundred), a cognitive sense of changing climate is distributed across only a dozen generations – either too slow to notice, or too ambiguous to come to conclusions about causality.

Anything but Luck: Achieving the 13th Living Building Challenge Award

Anything but Luck: Achieving the 13th Living Building Challenge Award

On May 20, 2017, the DC Chapter of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP-DC), along with partners, Leaders in Energy and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) National Capital Region, held an event at a newly certified Living Building Challenge facility at the Alice Ferguson Foundation (AFF).