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Archive for the ‘Climate Change’ Category

Strengthening the EPA’s Clean Power Plan

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014
FIGURE 1. The EPA’s Renewable Energy Targets under Its Proposed Clean Power Plan Are Modest

UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS
This brief outlines a better way to make the most of renewable energy in the Clean Power Plan, and to strengthen its state renewable energy targets as the cost of sources such as wind and solar power decline. The UCS proposal builds on the EPA’s approach while utilizing the latest available market data, demonstrated rates of growth in renewable energy, and existing state commitments to deploy renewables. Using our recommended modifications, the EPA could nearly double the amount of cost-effective renewable energy in their state targets—from 12 per-cent of total 2030 U.S. electric sales to 23 percent (Figure 1, p. 3).

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Natural Defenses from Hurricanes and Floods: Protecting America’s Communities and Ecosystems in an Era of Extreme Weather

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014
Figure 1. Natural and nature-based features at a glance.

NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION
This report represents a collaborative effort of the National Wildlife Federation, Allied World Assurance Company, and Earth Economics to address the mounting risks of flooding and hurricanes to U.S. communities. Specifically, this report focuses on the U.S. coasts and coastal waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the Gulf of Mexico and the nation’s extensive network of rivers and streams –places where millions of Americans live and work. It asks whether federal, state, and local officials are paying enough attention to the growing threats of floods and hurricanes across the country and whether they are using the policy tools at their disposal to protect people and property endangered by these potentially-catastrophic natural hazards.

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Interactive Map: Climate and Energy by State

Thursday, October 9th, 2014
Electricity Generation from Renewable Energy

Curious how your state stacks up when it comes to sustainability, renewable energy or climate-friendly policies? The Georgetown Climate Center’s new interactive map includes all these parameters (and much more) in its colorful, easy-to-read interface. With the center’s proprietary State Energy Analysis Tool as the engine, this map offers insight into a wide range of data that’s otherwise hard to come by, from Electricity Market Regulation to Energy Exporters and Importers. State profiles offer an in-depth analysis of each state’s energy/climate breakdown.

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A Global High Shift Scenario: Impacts And Potential For More Public Transport, Walking, And Cycling With Lower Car Use

Thursday, September 18th, 2014
Figure 7: Total Urban Passenger Travel for Select Countries/Regions

INSTITUTE FOR TRANSPORTATION & DEVELOPMENT POLICY
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS
This report is the first study to examine how major changes in urban transport investments worldwide would affect urban passenger transport emissions as well as mobility by different income groups. It starts with the most recent United Nations urban population forecasts and the most recent model framework and forecasts used by the International Energy Agency (IEA) for global mobility modeling. The study extends these with new research on the extent of various urban passenger transport systems in cities across the world, as well as new estimates of the extent of mobility by non-motorized transport and low power e-bikes.

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Video: Flood Resilience Guide

Thursday, September 11th, 2014
Video: Flood Resilience Guide

Drinking water and wastewater utilities are vulnerable to damage and service disruptions from flooding. This overview video helps small and medium utilities to become more resilient to flooding. Told from the perspective of a small drinking water utility, the video introduces a 4 step approach with easy-to-use worksheets with corresponding videos. The utility is provided with the tools to examine the threat of flooding, determine impacts to utility assets, identify cost-effective mitigation options, and plan to implement such options.

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The External Costs of Fossil Fuels; Environmental and Health Value of Solar

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014
U.S. Net Electricity Generation

ENERGY & POLICY INSTITUTE
Ratepayers and customers have been led to believe that a power plant burning coal or natural gas is the cheapest form of electricity and therefore, should be prioritized over renewable energy generation. However, ratepayers are paying for more than the cost of the fossil fuel that is used to generate electricity. Utility customers pay for the cleanup of toxic spills and health costs associated with burning dirty energy sources. Furthermore, ratepayer’s money spent importing fossil fuels from other states causes unforeseen negative economic impacts when local renewable energy systems could provide economic benefits. Utilities have little economic incentive to reduce fuel costs since the cost of coal and natural gas are passed directly through to customers. Finally, customers ultimately pay for the impacts of climate change, including water scarcity, both of which are fueled and exacerbated by the burning of fossil fuels.

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Los Angeles County: Profile of Clean Energy Investment Potential

Monday, August 25th, 2014
Mid-century Warming in the Los Angeles Region

ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND
UCLA LUSKIN CENTER FOR INNOVATION
The Environmental Defense Fund commissioned the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation to profile the potential for clean energy investments in Los Angeles County. The Los Angeles Solar and Efficiency Report (LASER): An Atlas of Investment Potential is multi-faceted. The LASER Atlas begins with this particular profile of clean energy investment potential at the county level. Other profiles that comprise the LASER Atlas are at the sub-regional level…This county level overview is designed to help community stakeholders identify areas of high potential for solar energy and the benefits of green economic investment. These benefits include capitalizing on incoming state and local funding while creating jobs and building community resilience to current environmental health and energy threats that climate change will exacerbate.

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Back in the Fast Lane: How to Speed Public Transit Planning & Construction in California

Thursday, August 21st, 2014
Figure 1. Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Economic Sector

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES
EMMETT INSTITUTE ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE ENVIRONMENT
This brief seeks to explain some of the causes of the planning and construction delays and escalating costs for major public transit projects, such as rail and bus rapid transit. Among the factors are counter-productive regulatory processes, lack of coordination among overlapping agencies and entities, poor agency oversight of construction, and political compromises meant to appease powerful neighborhood groups and automobile drivers at the expense of the regional good.

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Benchmarking Air Emissions of the 100 Largest Electric Power Producers in the USA

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014
FIGURE ES. 1 Environmental Concerns Associated with Power Plant Emissions

CERES
This report examines and compares the stack air pollutant emissions of the 100 largest power producers in the United States based on their 2012 generation, plant ownership, and emissions data. Table ES.1 lists the 100 largest power producers featured in this report ranked by their total electricity generation from fossil fuel, nuclear, and renewable energy facilities. These producers include public and private entities1 (collectively referred to as “companies” or “producers” in this report) that own more than 2,700 power plants and account for 86 percent of reported electric generation and 87 percent of the industry’s reported emissions.

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Climate Change Puts Our National Landmarks at Risk

Monday, June 9th, 2014
National Monuments at Risk

UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS
This report is not a comprehensive analysis of climate change threats to all of the United States’ historic places, monuments and memorials, but rather a selection of case studies that vividly illustrate an urgent problem. These examples represent just a few of the many that could have been included, but the places they examine symbolize many of the rich and diverse elements of the American experience. The stories were chosen because the science behind the risks they face is robust, and because together they shine a spotlight on the different kinds of climate impacts already affecting the United States’ cultural heritage.

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