climate-change


Photo: UK Parliament

What Do Brexit and Energy Markets Have in Common? A lot.

, Senior energy analyst

To an observer of both, there are some irresistible parallels between the fiasco called Brexit and the stumbling of the US Mid-Atlantic/Midwest grid operator PJM over climate policy. The deadline is fast approaching for the UK’s long-awaited decision and still there’s no clarity, no plans and no transparency from the policymakers involved. I can’t help but be reminded of another fiasco of a deadline that is fast approaching on US energy plans.

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Photo: UK Parliament
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A drought-stricken soybean field in Texas

The World Is in a Water Crisis and Climate Change Is Making it Worse

, Western States Climate Scientist

The World Resources Institute (WRI) updated its Global Water Risk Atlas revealing that 17 countries–home of a quarter of the world’s population–will face “extremely high” water stress within 20 years. Water stress is defined as the ratio between water withdrawals (i.e., domestic, agricultural, and industrial water uses) and available renewable water supplies. Risk categories of ‘high’ and ‘extremely high’ water stress are reached when yearly withdrawals exceed 40 percent and 80 percent of available renewable water supplies, respectively.

Some readers may remember last year when Cape Town was approaching ‘day zero’, the day when municipal water supplies were going dry. Depending on where you live, some might have wondered “how long until that happens to us?” Read more >

Photo: Bob Nichols, USDA/CC BY 2.0 (Flickr)
https://www.wri.org/aqueduct
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Gut Check Time for the Paris Agreement

, director of strategy & policy

Nearly four years after countries adopted the Paris Agreement, it faces the first real test of whether it is fit for purpose: will enough countries step up by the end of next year to increase the ambition of their Paris emissions reduction pledges, as is needed to meet the agreement’s bold temperature increase limitation goals?

The outlook is uncertain–growing public concern about the mounting impacts of climate change and the sharp reductions in the cost of solar, wind and other clean technologies provide political and economic rationales for higher ambition, but President Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement and the trade war he has launched with China are creating headwinds against bold action. Read more >

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Subaru vehicles are popular in Colorado and environmentalism is part of their brand identity, so it's troubling that their sole electric vehicle isn't available in Colorado. Photo: Tim Hurst/Flickr

Why Colorado Needs a Zero Emission Vehicles Standard

, Senior vehicles engineer

Colorado is poised to enact requirements for automakers to sell “Zero Emission Vehicles” (ZEVs) in the state. In 2018, Colorado was already in the top 5 states in terms of percent of vehicle sales that are electric in the country, so why is this important? It’s because despite progress, Colorado could be moving even faster to switch from gasoline to electricity to power cars and trucks, if there were more models of electric vehicles available.

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Photo: Tim Hurst/Flickr
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Photo: Ma. William Carraway/Wikimedia Commons

An Absence of Energy Leadership in a Climate Crisis

, Senior energy analyst

State officials have a variety of policies and goals for the electricity supply for each of their states, from rate stability and economic development incentives, to ambitious renewable goals, to health and safety protections for workers and consumers. Governors and legislators are closer to constituents and respond to the interests of their communities more directly than a regional utility or federal agency. And in light of the federal government’s abdication of numerous duties, this is more true now than ever before. Read more >

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