Fast tracking people friendly streets in Nashville and Denver

By Stephen Miller, Streetsblog, 25 May 2017 Nashville’s busiest bus routes are in line for more frequent service and transit-only lanes under the city’s new action plan. Photo: Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County Nashville is known as the home of the country music industry — and a fast-growing region of car-centric sprawl. But local leaders realize they can’t accommodate …

Cleaning up our cities: top 5 innovations for low carbon cities goes beyond the normal set

By Michael Barnard, Clean Technica, May 15th, 2017 At first blush, the list seems obvious. Electrification of transportation Buying clean energy from wind and solar generation, and Some low-carbon building changes. But that seems a bit too facile. What’s really changing cities? My personal list of major urban low-carbon innovations includes net metering, vehicle fleet emissions standards, complete streets zoning, …

Study finds even more early deaths from diesel fumes: diesel vehicles emit up to 50% more nitrogen oxide in real world than laboratory tests

By James Ayre in Clean Technica, May 16th, 2017 Real-world nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel vehicles are up to 50% higher than the estimates that result from laboratory testing, according to a new paper published in the journal Nature. The work, which was quite comprehensive, investigated 11 top vehicle markets, which together represented over 80% of new diesel vehicle sales …

Enabling better planning for droughts in Africa

University of Exeter. “Summer rainfall in vulnerable African region can be predicted.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 May 2017. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170525085109.htm Summer rainfall in one of the world’s most drought-prone regions can now be predicted months or years in advance, climate scientists at the Met Office and the University of Exeter say. The Sahel region of Africa — a strip across the southern …

Off-grid renewables may be lowest-cost option for connecting more than one-fifth of Africans needing electricity access, says Dutch report

In many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, adding distributed renewable power may be more cost-effective than extending the grid to those without access to electricity, says a Dutch government report. The need is vast, with more than 600 million people on the continent living without electricity. Climate Home reports on the study here. And here’s a story we ran earlier this …

EV update – May 26, 2017

From Dan Welch at C2ES.org — thanks, Dan!  Supplemented with some additional info from Inside Climate News. Financial analysis firm UBS says that some EV models could reach cost of ownership parity with typical cars in 2018, though such parity would be achieved in the short term by automakers selling at a loss.  The investment bank UBS sees the cost …

Update from the Our Children’s Trust Case: Fossil Fuel Companies Seek Permission to Withdraw from the Litigation

From Lead Counsel, Julia Olsen Here’s a line we never thought we might be able to say: the fossil fuel industry is backing down. After spending 18 months trying to throw out the 21 youth plaintiffs’ climate lawsuit, a defeated American Petroleum Institute (API) and American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) filed motions last night requesting the court’s permission to …

Putting people back to work in Coal Country

By Joe Ryan, Bloomberg, 24 May 2017 Ben Chafin sees the future of clean energy in abandoned coal shafts. The Virginia state senator, whose Appalachian district is pockmarked with empty mines, pushed through legislation in April that encourages companies to transform those tunnels into giant storage devices to hold vast amounts of renewable power. The idea, which Dominion Energy Inc. has been studying, …

Lighting/Lumens as a Service – can it help unlock investment in building energy efficiency retrofits?

RMI, May 2017 Lighting represents about 10 percent of commercial electricity consumption, as reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration in 2016. A 2012 report by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Deutsche Bank Group found that $279 billion of investment in building energy-efficiency retrofits could yield more than $1 trillion of energy savings over 10 years, not to mention an …