Yesterday Jerry Brown accepted the job of governor of California for a fourth term and made some exciting remarks about the state’s clean energy future. Read More
January 6th, 2015
December 19th, 2014
Coming into the Lima climate negotiations on December 1st, the US-China joint climate announcement, the European Union’s political agreement on its 2030 emissions reduction target, and the successful capitalization of the Green Climate Fund had all combined to create a sense of momentum and a positive mood.
But these developments had done little to resolve the sharp disagreements about which countries are responsible for taking which kinds of action on climate change, and these different perspectives on the issue of differentiation nearly derailed the final decision in Lima. As it was, the Lima decision on the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) was a disappointing, minimal outcome. If these conflicts over the issue of differentiation are not resolved, or at least significantly narrowed, they could threaten the prospects for agreement in Paris next December on a new, comprehensive post-2020 climate regime. Read More
December 19th, 2014
As 2014 comes to a close, it’s helpful to look back and take stock of successes in the clean energy space. Here are 8 ways that it’s been a great year for clean energy (and just a few areas for improvement). Read More
December 18th, 2014
In late October, I wrote about the disturbing trend of politicians copping out of taking public policy positions by saying, “I am not a scientist.” Well, yesterday we heard Governor Andrew Cuomo complete the sentence in a way that I applaud. He said, “…I’m not a scientist. So let’s bring the emotion down, and let’s ask the qualified experts what their opinion is.” Read More
Google and the EPA’s Clean Power Plan: Leaders and Fortune 500 Companies Unite in Support of Renewable Energy
December 17th, 2014
Q: What do Google, 223 other businesses, 14 attorneys general, 11 U.S. senators, and more than 25 environmental, public health, and clean energy organizations all have in common?
A: They all told EPA that renewable energy should play a strong role in reducing emissions from existing power plants under its proposed Clean Power Plan. Read More
December 12th, 2014
Earlier this month, when EPA proposed a new health-protective air quality standard for the pollutants that form “ozone,” some critics predictably pounced on it as another example of a long string of “job-killing EPA regulations.” Yet last week, we learned that the U.S. economy created about 320,000 new jobs in November, and average wages are starting to rise as the labor market tightens.
If you spot some dissonance here, you’re not alone. The claim that EPA regulations kill jobs is belied by the record. Read More
December 11th, 2014
Solar power in California continues to blaze ahead with record-setting developments and utilities ahead of schedule in meeting their targets for procuring renewable sources of electricity. So what’s next for renewable energy in the Golden State? Read More
December 10th, 2014
I’m in the beautiful city of Lima, at the annual United Nations climate talks, or COP 20. Even as negotiators labor over “non-papers” and “elements of draft negotiating text,” the real buzz here is about the incredible opportunity to drive down global emissions by investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency. What makes this a particularly exciting time is that the costs of renewable energy are falling dramatically. The clean energy transition has never been more affordable – or, frankly, more urgently needed. Read More
December 5th, 2014
Recent decisions by Florida’s utility regulation commission mean that the state is leaving key energy resources on the cutting room floor. Here’s why the Sunshine State is way in the dark on this one. Read More
December 2nd, 2014
Yesterday the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) submitted its comments on the draft Clean Power Plan (CPP) to the EPA. Joining millions of others, we registered our strong support for these historic, first-ever limits on carbon emissions from power plants, which are the single largest source of these emissions in the United States. This rule could be a climate game changer. We also recommended a number of ways the plan should be strengthened and improved, especially by increasing renewable energy contributions.