1.5 C news and other climate findings from 2017

From Carbon Brief 22 Dec 2017 How much time does the world collectively have left to reduce its emissions in order to avoid dangerous climate change? At the beginning of the year, Carbon Brief published our traditional carbon budget update, revealing that just four years of current CO2 emissions would blow what’s left of the budget for a good chance of keeping …

Higher Birth Weight, Lower Risk Of Premature Births After Coal Power Plant Shut Down

December 22nd, 2017 by Steve Hanley on Clean Technica For decades, the Portland Generating Station, located in Pennsylvania close to the New Jersey border, spewed an average of 2,600 tons of sulfur dioxide each month into the atmosphere. Pennsylvania industry and residents got the benefit of Portland’s electricity. New Jersey residents got to choke on the pollution as it drifted eastward on the …

5 Reasons Why Coal Is on the Way Out

23 countries, states and cities will have either phased out coal-fired power plants or set a timeline to do so by 2030. The capital cities of China and India are going coal free! Three of the G7 economies have decided to phase out coal—with Italy looking like it might also be phasing coal out soon. In the U.S., 14 coal plants have decided to …

Coal down to 31% of US electricity, from 51% in 2008, and 25% of remaining plants are sent to retire. 17% more are uneconomic and could face retirement soon. Solar and wind are up to 10% (from 3% in 2008)

By Dana Nucitelli in The Guardian, Oct 2017 If there ever was a war on coal, the coal industry has lost. According to a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, many old American coal power plants are being retired or converted to natural gas, and new coal power plants aren’t being built because they’ve become more expensive than natural gas, …

More closures and no new coal plants in the US

By Benjamin Storrow, ClimateWire on August 21, 2017, Scientific American About 16 percent of the U.S. coal fleet has retired in the past five years, but don’t expect major new coal-fired plants to fill that void. The federal government counts four new coal projects on a list of planned power plants nationwide. Three of those face long odds, and none will be able …

Learning from Germany’s “soft and just transition” for coal workers

Excerpt from Scientific America, Sept. 2017 …Overall it “was really a soft and just transition,” says Stefanie Groll, head of Environmental Policy and Sustainability at the Heinrich Boll Foundation in Berlin. “In the Ruhr area, union representatives and local politicians worked out a plan to compensate and requalify people who worked in the coal industry,” she says. For families like …

Utilities Knew: Power Providers Had Info/Acknowledged Impacts of Climate Change 50 Years Ago

8/3/2017 – BY ENERGY AND POLICY INSTITUTE Scientists had begun to warn electric utilities about climate change by 1968, and by 1988 the industry’s official research and development organization had acknowledged that, “There is growing consensus in the scientific community that the greenhouse effect is real.” Despite this early knowledge about climate change, electric utilities have continued to invest heavily in …

Chicago closes coal and invests in transit, cycling, building retrofits, electric buses and more

Rahm Emanuel, The Guardian, 3- August 2017 While the Trump administration is dropping the mantle of leadership on climate change, American cities from coast to coast are picking it up. From small towns to metropolises and from the coasts to the heartland, Republican and Democratic mayors are united in common cause to curb emissions, shrink our carbon footprints and fight for a greener …

The US coal industry is going out, not with a whimper, but with a burst of rent-seeking: “Picking winners” doesn’t look so bad when you’re losing.

Updated by David Roberts@drvoxdavid@vox.com  Aug 26, 2017 “Welcome to the small-government party. What kind of subsidies would you like?” (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) The US coal industry is dying — but not with any dignity. As the end approaches, its sense of aggrieved entitlement is increasingly naked, its demands for government handouts increasingly frantic. As dread builds, shame has left the building. The story …