Climate In the News: Solar Roads, Green Bonds, and Millions of Acres Protected
Happy happy happy New Year from Sustainable Directions!
After a tumultuous 2016, it is high-time to count our blessings. And there are many. We gained millions of acres of protected lands. We witnessed Chinese leadership on banning the ivory trade. Solar roof panels. The implementation of the Paris Agreement. We experienced community, beauty, and environmental stewardship like never before. This is a local and a global movement. And we are proud to add to this voice.
Let 2017 be your motivator. Because we have 365 more chances to make a difference.
And in the meantime, check out even more good news! In December alone, climate policy made incredible headway across the country and the world.
America's First Offshore Wind Farm Launched Monday, December 12!
Google Making Headway Towards a 100% Renewable Corporate Campus
The United States is Driving Climate Action, Locally
With 60% of Americans living in cities, the problems, and thereby, the solutions arise locally. Governors and mayors are taking it upon themselves to implement changes that benefit our air and water. Thanks to Renewable Portfolio Standards, 29 states and Washington DC are required to source a certain percentage of their power from renewables each year. This is just one of the many ways states, independent of federal regulation, are combating climate change. Here are some December 2016 examples:
- New York City installed over 3,000 rooftop solar installations at Brooklyn Navy Yard—Mayor de Blasio’s goal is to generate 1,000 MV of solar by 2030. Hawaii is planning to use 100% renewable energy by 2045. Currently, Hawaii imports the majority of its energy needs (mainly oil from abroad), proving extremely costly for the island state. Hawaii ranks #1 in highest national electricity costs—the national average is 11-12 cents/kWh, compared to Hawaii island at 32.6 cent/kWh and Maui at 27.5 cent/kWh.
- Ohio Governor John Kasich vetoed a bill that would freeze renewable energy standards and slow development in clean energy. He also blocked a $264 million oil and gas tax break.
- Portland, Oregon adopted a comprehensive, citywide electric vehicle strategy with the motto of “electric first.”
- Madison, Wisconsin voted on measures to move towards 100% renewable energy on December 19th.
- Seattle, Los Angeles, Columbus, Ohio voted to expand mass transit.
- Albuquerque, New Mexico committed to getting 25% of its energy from solar by 2025.
- Chicago, Illinois is planting millions of trees to soak stormwater and reduce the urban “heat island” effect.
- California adopted a cap-and-trade program to allow companies to buy and sell carbon allowances as one of the ways to reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.
- Burlington, Vermont continues to source 100% of its power from renewable energy—last week, it added Maine’s Hancock Wind Project to its portfolio, which will supply Burlington with 9% of its energy needs.
- Georgetown, Texas, located in the heartland of oil country, has committed to buying all renewable energy by 2017.
- Greensburg, Kansas put a municipal ordinance which requires buildings over 4,000 sq. ft. to be LEED Platinum.