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President Donald Trump may be yanking the United States from the Paris climate agreement, but states, cities and businesses are filling the vacuum by making their own commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions—and the numbers are mounting.
On Monday, more than 1,000 companies and institutions, including more than a dozen Fortune 500 businesses, signed onto a statement—”We Are Still In“—saying they’re committed to meeting the Paris targets. The statement calls Trump’s decision “a grave mistake that endangers the American public and hurts America’s economic security and diplomatic reputation.” By Tuesday, the coalition’s numbers had climbed past 1,400.
A dozen states that together represent the world’s third-largest economy and more than 200 cities had also committed to the Paris accord through various coalitions.
Trump’s decision to leave the Paris climate agreement, the world’s biggest economies denounced the move and insisted they would remain in the pact. While the president claimed he would contemplate a renegotiation of a deal that “puts America first,” the UN and several U.S. allies said renegotiation isn’t in the cards.
Immediately after the announcement, a loud and adamant chorus—with a diverse array of members, from the CEO of Disney to the state of Delaware—began announcing or reaffirming their own emissions-related and clean energy goals.
For the entire story from Inside Climate News.
Look at Texas!
In addition, according to KUT.org 90.9 FM, for the first time ever, wind has surpassed coal as an energy source in Texas.
Data released this month by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas shows wind created 22 percent of the electricity used in the first half of the year, edging out coal by 1 percentage point.
Texas is the largest consumer of coal in the country, according to the Energy Information Administration. But cheap natural gas and renewable energy prices are biting into coal’s market share.
Another reason for wind’s competitiveness this year could be the weather.
Many of the coal plants in Texas are “peaker plants,” meaning they operate only when electricity demand is high. A mild spring and summer may have kept demand lower than expected and some of those plants offline.
Natural gas still continues to produce more electricity than any other source, at 38%. Solar energy accounts for about 1% of electricity here. Daniel Cohan, a civil and environmental engineering professor at Rice University, said that number could slowly tick up.
Now while Inside Climate News didn’t report this, it’s ok! Because and according to Mayor Eric Garcetti and his releasing Los Angeles’ Green New Deal. One which sets aggressive goals for the city’s sustainable future, tackles the climate emergency with accelerated targets, strengthens our economy and our middle class, and sets L.A. on course to be carbon neutral by 2050.
“Politicians in Washington don’t have to look across the aisle in Congress to know what a Green New Deal is — they can look across the country, to Los Angeles,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “With flames on our hillsides and floods in our streets, cities cannot wait another moment to confront the climate crisis with everything we’ve got. L.A. is leading the charge, with a clear vision for protecting the environment and making our economy work for everyone.”
L.A.’s Green New Deal is guided by four key principles. First of all, a commitment to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement. Then a promise to deliver environmental justice and equity through an inclusive green economy. Plus a plan to ensure every Angeleno has the ability to join the green economy by creating pipelines to good paying, green jobs. Finally, a determination to lead by example within City government. Therefore LA will be showing the world what an urban Green New Deal looks like in practice.
The Green New Deal leads with bold action. All to zero out Los Angeles’ main sources of harmful emissions. So buildings, transportation, electricity, and trash.
Creating a Jobs Cabinet to bring city, labor, educational, and business leaders together to support our effort to create 300,000 green jobs by 2035 and 400,000 by 2050.
Mandating that all new municipally owned buildings and major renovations be all-electric, effective immediately. Most noteworthy, that’s every building in Los Angeles. That’s from skyscrapers to single family homes. Therefore becoming emissions free by 2050.
Achieving a zero waste future by phasing out Styrofoam by 2021. Thereby ending the use of plastic straws and single-use takeout containers by 2028. Finally, no longer sending any trash to landfills by 2050.
Recycling 100% of our wastewater by 2035; sourcing 70% of our water locally. Therefore a significant increase from our existing pathway. As well as nearly tripling the maximum amount of stormwater captured.
Planting and maintaining at least 90,000 trees. All which will provide 61 million square feet of shade. In addition, citywide by 2021 and increasing tree canopy in low-income, severely heat impacted areas by at least 50% by 2028.
Now New York has stepped up.
Mandates 100 Percent Clean Power by 2040 and Enacts New Climate Action Council into Law. All to Develop Roadmap to Make New York Carbon Neutral.
Also ensures a just transition to Clean Power. Thereby spurring growth of the Green Economy. Finally and most noteworthy prioritizing Low- and Moderate-Income New Yorkers!
Invests $1.5 Billion in 20 Large-Scale Renewable Energy Projects Upstate and up to $200 Million in Port Infrastructure to Make New York the Nation’s Offshore Wind Hub
Builds on Governor’s Environmental Record, Including Banning Fracking, Ending Coal Power, Unprecedented Investments in Renewable Energy and Establishing the U.S. Climate Alliance
“Climate change is a reality, and the consequences of delay are a matter of life and death. We know what we must do. Now we have to have the vision, the courage, and the competence to get it done,” Governor Cuomo said. “While the federal government shamefully ignores the reality of climate change and fails to take meaningful action, we are launching the first-in-the-nation Green New Deal to seize the potential of the clean energy economy, set nation’s most ambitious goal for carbon-free power, and ultimately eliminate our entire carbon footprint.”
During Governor Cuomo’s first two terms, New York banned fracking of natural gas, committed to phasing out coal power by 2020, mandated 50 percent renewable power by 2030, and established the U.S. Climate Alliance to uphold the Paris Agreement.
In addition and Under the Reforming the Energy Vision agenda. It seems that New York has held the largest renewable energy procurements in U.S. history. I mean solar has increased nearly 1,500 percent. As well as offshore wind is poised to transform the State’s electricity supply to be cleaner and more sustainable and all through Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal. New York will take the bold next steps to secure a clean energy future that protects the environment for generations to come while growing the clean energy economy.
In addition, and as Inside Climate News reports, there is absence of federal action on climate change. So more states are setting ambitious targets to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Washington became the latest on Tuesday when Gov. Jay Inslee signed a law requiring that 100 percent of the state’s electricity come from clean energy sources by 2045.
In conclusion, Washington is now the fifth state or territory—following Hawaii, California, New Mexico and Puerto Rico. All to commit to 100 percent clean electricity instead of the Paris Climate Agreement. As well as at least six other states are considering similar legislation instead of the Paris Climate deal.
“This means we can have a fighting chance at saving the things we cherish most — our land, our air, our water and our children’s health,” Inslee said in a prepared statement. “We aren’t done. Our success this year is just a harbinger of successes to come. But we’re ready. We can do this.”
Finally, and as Ballotpedia reports, as of September 2019, half of the 50 largest cities in the U.S. by population had adopted local climate action plans. Supporters say that these plans, which call for measures such as reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, are important for combatting climate change and promoting public health. Opponents of local climate action plans say that such plans increase living costs and cause economic harm.
Almost all of the cities with climate action plans were members of at least one climate association. This page tracks membership in the following associations: 100 Resilient Cities, Climate Mayors, and C40 Cities.
Finally, for the 221 RE100 companies have made a commitment to go ‘100% renewable’. Read about the actions they are taking and why. http://there100.org/companies
Sources: Inside Climate News, LA Mayors Office, NY Governor’s Office, Ballotpedia
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