Sec 115 of the Clean Air Act triggered when US emissions contribute to air pollution endangering public health or welfare in another country

There are provisions in the Clean Air Act that amount to, “If it’s in the air and it harms people, regulate it,” without specifying what “it” might be. Rather, the law allows for periodic scientific reviews to hone our understanding of human vulnerability to atmospheric pollutants. As scientists better understand the threats, administrators are empowered to update regulatory protections, without …

Getting high level buy-in for sustainable system change – 6 top tips

1. Be realistic about how many stakeholders you can engage  It can take serious effort to just schedule in a short meeting with a leader. And so whilst it is tempting to want all leaders to understand your plan, focusing on winning over the essential person, for your immediate initiative, can be most effective. For example, if reducing travel through …

Peak coal is coming sooner than expected, Goldman Sachs told clients

“Peak coal is coming sooner than expected,” Goldman told clients in a September research note. Goldman projects global demand for coal used in electricity generation will drop from a peak of 6.15 billion metric tons in 2013 to 5.98 billion in 2019 (the end of its forecast range).   “The industry does not require new investment given the ability of …

Even with good progress on renewables, business as usual is not enough

Germany’s Renewable Energy Sources Act, adopted in 2000, guaranteed 20 years of grid access and fixed prices for its solar- and wind-power producers. German electricity consumers are subsidizing the expensive early stages of the development, deployment and integration of renewables to the tune of more than $20 billion a year. In 2014, despite the country exporting more electricity than ever …

TransCanada sues US as another corporation thinks it has the right to profit at everyone’s expense

What’s the matter with a system that encourages transnational corporations to think they can sue countries?  See this Grist article. TransCanada isn’t taking no for an answer. In November, President Obama rejected the company’s plans to build the Keystone XL pipeline. Now the company is fighting that decision, just as it had threatened to do: It’s suing America and seeking $15 …

Why businesses no longer fear carbon pricing

CDP reported during the UN climate talks in December that more than 1,000 companies disclosed in their 2015 reports to CDP that they either have implemented a price on carbon for internal decision making or they plan to do so in the next two years. CDP called this “a number that was unthinkable just a few years ago.” Those who …

A big conclusion and statement out of COP-21 is that we’re headed for carbon zero: a clear signal to investors that each new long-term fossil fuel investment is riskier than the last

….(The) Zero (fossil fuel commitment) is intuitive and easy to explain. It offers a bracing clarity of vision.  It settles the question of what will happen to the fossil fuel industry and investments that rely on fossil fuels. They will go away. It might be soon, it might be later, but the end state is determined. They are slated for …

Exxon figured in 1981 that warming would begin to be felt around 2000 and thus there was “time for an orderly transition to non-fossil fuel technologies should restrictions on fossil fuel use be deemed necessary.”

The Los Angeles Times and the Pulitzer prize winning InsideClimate News (“Exxon: The Road Not Taken“), as well as the Union of Concerned Scientists all published revealing investigations into Exxon’s comprehensive knowledge and summary of climate change in the late 70s and early 80s, preceding the company’s decision to preserve its ability pollute and promote the use of fossil fuels …

Lowering EU CO2 emissions due to transport by 45 percent (3/4 of way to 2050 climate target)

The EU’s 2011 White Paper on the future of transport set the objective that the majority of European passenger and freight transport over medium and long distances should take place using the environmentally-friendly transport modes of rail and waterways by 2050. At the same time, greenhouse gas emissions from transport should be reduced by 60 percent compared to 2005. Together …