Making Food Production and Land Use More Sustainable Could Yield $2.3 Trillion in Economic Benefits

Making Food Production and Land Use More Sustainable Could Yield $2.3 Trillion in Economic Benefits

There’s a “forgotten solution” for achieving major economic, development and climate gains—transforming the way the world feeds itself and manages its land.
At this week’s UN General Assembly, members of the Food and Land Use Coalition will meet with heads of state and CEOs to raise the profile of this issue and encourage greater action. They have new research to support their case. The food and land use chapter of the New Climate Economy’s Global Opportunities Report sets out how decisive action on food and land use is at the heart of the inclusive growth story of the 21st century. The report finds that more sustainable food and land use business models could be worth up to $2.3 trillion, and that they’re critical to delivering a more climate-secure and resilient world.

Recent Scientific Advancements Show New Connections Between Climate Change and Hurricanes

Recent Scientific Advancements Show New Connections Between Climate Change and Hurricanes

With Hurricane Florence making landfall in the Carolinas, Super Typhoon Mangkhut headed for the Philippines, and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria fresh in our minds, many are asking what role climate change is playing in these disasters.
Scientists have known for years that global warming can exacerbate storms. But our understanding of the connection between hurricanes and climate change has evolved significantly in just the past year.

French Environment Minister’s Resignation: A Frustrated Call for Climate Action

French Environment Minister’s Resignation: A Frustrated Call for Climate Action

On Tuesday, August 28, French environment minister Nicolas Hulot announced he was quitting Emmanuel Macron’s government—on live radio. During his interview with France Inter, a frustrated Hulot explained, “I don’t want to give the illusion that my presence in government means we’re answering these issues properly—and so I have decided to leave the government.”
Hulot, Macron’s most popular cabinet minister and former television presenter and environmental activist, said that his decision was “the most difficult decision of my life,” and was made on the spot—neither Macron nor Hulot’s wife were aware that he was going to resign.

Could climate change make mosquitoes worse in Virginia? The answer is more complicated than you might think.

Could climate change make mosquitoes worse in Virginia? The answer is more complicated than you might think.

All over the state, Virginia residents have been quick to condemn this year’s especially wet summer. But those torrential downpours might be why you have fewer mosquito bites on your arm. As the climate grows steadily warmer, the risk of increased illness from heat-loving insects like mosquitoes grows with it. The research group Climate Central released a report earlier this month detailing how so-called mosquito disease danger days are rising. There are more days in spring, summer and fall with an average temperature between 61 and 93 degrees, the prime temperature for mosquitoes to spread diseases like West Nile virus.

China’s Gas Shortage

China’s Gas Shortage

Recent strategies and policies to phase out coal in China have led to an increase in demand for natural gas. In October 2017, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection unveiled plans to cut harmful air pollution, especially the particularly damaging fine particulate matter known as PM2.5. The plan, or “Coal Ban,” has set strict targets on air quality levels in addition to a ban on burning coal in 28 of its northern cities, including Beijing. However, while the air quality improved significantly in Beijing this past winter, the rapid ban on coal burning and the transition to natural gas has left thousands without heat.

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.