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Arlington Vision 2020 Committee/Mass. Climate Action Network (MCAN) Chapter

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This page includes content from the Climate Change News blog, which is maintained daily by David Landskov, and content from our old SA blog archives.

  • National Grid Unveils “80×50 Pathway” to Drastically Reduce GHG Emissions in US Northeast

    Climate Change News Jun 21, 2018 | 04:10 am

    National Grid Unveils “80×50 Pathway” to Drastically Reduce GHG Emissions in US Northeast National Grid, the electricity and natural gas supplier to the US Northeast, has unveiled its Northeast 80×50 Pathway intended to “drastically” reduce emissions in its operating area by 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. National Grid serves over 20 million people throughout New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, and is the largest natural gas supplier in the Northeast (as well as operating the national grid across Great Britain).  In an announcement late last week, National Grid announced its Northeast 80×50 Pathway, also known as its Clean Energy, Efficiency, and Electrification:  National Grid’s Northeast 80×50 Pathway.  The blueprint sets out a plan to continue New York and New England’s emissions reductions:  In 2015, emissions from power generation were nearly 50% below 1990 levels thanks primarily to energy efficiency, conversion from coal and oil-based generation to natural gas, and heavy deployment of renewable electricity.  Overall emissions in 2015 for the Northeast showed a 16% economy-wide reduction below 1990 levels. However, National Grid is looking to push that even further and work with the Northeast to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 — hence, 80×50.  The emissions reduction enshrined in the Pathway would significantly decrease emissions compared to the current progression of emissions reduction. For National Grid climate change isn’t a political question, but scientific fact, and we believe that innovation and a diverse set of stakeholders at the table will enable us to reach the clean energy future that we all want,” said Dean Seavers, US President[…]

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  • Wednesday 20

    Climate Change News Jun 21, 2018 | 03:50 am

    Wednesday 20

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  • Ex-NASA Scientist:  30 Years On, World Is Failing 'Miserably’ to Address Climate Change

    Climate Change News Jun 20, 2018 | 21:10 pm

    Ex-NASA Scientist:  30 Years On, World Is Failing 'Miserably’ to Address Climate Change James Hansen, who gave a climate warning in 1988 Senate testimony, says real hoax is by leaders claiming to take action. Thirty years after a former NASA scientist sounded the alarm for the general public about climate change and human activity, the expert issued a fresh warning that the world is failing “miserably” to deal with the worsening dangers. While Donald Trump and many conservatives like to argue that climate change is a hoax, James Hansen, the 77-year-old former NASA climate scientist, said in an interview at his home in New York that the relevant hoax today is perpetrated by those leaders claiming to be addressing the problem. Hansen provided what’s considered the first warning to a mass audience about global warming when, in 1988, he told a US congressional hearing he could declare “with 99% confidence” that a recent sharp rise in temperatures was a result of human activity. Since this time, the world’s greenhouse gas emissions have mushroomed despite repeated, increasingly frantic warnings about civilization-shaking catastrophe, from scientists amassing reams of evidence in Hansen’s wake. “All we’ve done is agree there’s a problem,” Hansen told the Guardian.  “We agreed that in 1992 [at the Earth summit in Rio] and re-agreed it again in Paris [at the 2015 climate accord].  We haven’t acknowledged what is required to solve it.  Promises like Paris don’t mean much, it’s wishful thinking.  It’s a hoax that governments have played on us since the 1990s.” Hansen’s long list of culprits for this inertia are[…]

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  • Bloomberg NEF Forecasts Falling Battery Prices Enabling Surge in Wind and Solar to 50% of Global Generation by 2050

    Climate Change News Jun 20, 2018 | 20:56 pm

    Bloomberg NEF Forecasts Falling Battery Prices Enabling Surge in Wind and Solar to 50% of Global Generation by 2050 Wind and solar power generation will surge to almost 50% of world generation by 2050 (“50 by 50”), supported by precipitous reductions in cost, and the advent of cheaper and cheaper batteries that will enable electricity to be stored and discharged to meet shifts in demand and supply, according to the new annual Bloomberg NEF New Energy Outlook (NEO) 2018. This year’s outlook is the first to highlight the significant impact that falling battery costs will have on the electricity mix over the coming decades.  BNEF predicts that lithium-ion battery prices, already down by nearly 80% per megawatt-hour since 2010, will continue to tumble as electric vehicle manufacturing builds up through the 2020s."We see $548 billion being invested in battery capacity by 2050, two thirds of that at the grid level and one third installed behind-the-meter by households and businesses. The arrival of cheap battery storage will mean that it becomes increasingly possible to finesse the delivery of electricity from wind and solar, so that these technologies can help meet demand even when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.  The result will be renewables eating up more and more of the existing market for coal, gas and nuclear." —Seb Henbest, head of Europe, Middle East, and Africa for BNEF and lead author of NEO 2018Read more at Bloomberg NEF Forecasts Falling Battery Prices Enabling Surge in Wind and Solar to 50% of Global Generation by 2050

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  • Despite Trump, Wall Street Is Breaking Up with Fossil Fuels - By Bill McKibben

    Climate Change News Jun 20, 2018 | 08:05 am

    Despite Trump, Wall Street Is Breaking Up with Fossil Fuels - By Bill McKibben If you’re looking for good news on the climate front, don’t look to the Antarctic.  Last week’s spate of studies documenting that its melt rates had tripled is precisely the kind of data that underscores the almost impossible urgency of the moment. And don’t look to Washington, D.C., where the unlikely survival of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt continues to prove the political power of the fossil fuel industry.  It’s as if he’s on a reality show where the premise is to see how much petty corruption one man can get away with. But from somewhat less likely quarters, there’s been reason this month for hope — reason, at least, to think that the basic trajectory of the world away from coal and gas and oil is firmly underway. At the Vatican, the Pope faced down a conference full of oil industry executives — the basic argument that fossil fuel reserves must be kept underground has apparently percolated to the top of the world’s biggest organization. And from Wall Street came welcome word that market perceptions haven’t really changed:  Even in the age of Trump, the fossil fuel industry has gone from the world’s surest bet to an increasingly challenged enterprise.  Researchers at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis minced no words:  “In the past several years, oil industry financial statements have revealed significant signs of strain:  Profits have dropped, cash flow is down, balance sheets are deteriorating, and capital spending is falling.  The stock market has recognized the[…]

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  • Hydro-Quebec, Central Maine Power Agree to 20-Year Cross-Border Transmission Terms

    Climate Change News Jun 20, 2018 | 07:36 am

    Hydro-Quebec, Central Maine Power Agree to 20-Year Cross-Border Transmission Terms The successful negotiation of contracts this week move Hydro-Quebec's plan to export surplus hydroelectric power into the New England region of the United States one step closer to fruition. The Canadian utility and the Central Maine Power Co. announced Monday they had struck a deal with the Massachusetts electric distribution companies (EDCs) for the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC), which would allow Hydro-Quebec to send about 9.45 TWh of power via high-voltage transmission line into the U.S. annually for 20 years....The Massachusetts EDCs will next file agreements with the state's Department of Public Utilities, per terms of its 83D Clean Energy Request for Proposals. "In the coming months we'll be working closely with Central Maine Power to complete this important new interconnection project, which will not only reduce carbon emissions, but will also bring price stability and supply reliability to the region," said Eric Martel, president and CEO of Hydro-Quebec. The New England Clean Energy Connect is being developed by a partnership that includes utility Central Maine Power, energy holding company Avangrid, and renewables developer Iberdrola. The project is an alternative to the Northern Pass line, which failed to gain support from Massachusetts earlier this year. Developers say the NECEC has several significant advantages over the Northern Pass, beginning with its smaller $950 million price tag.  The line would also run entirely on land owned by Central Maine Power, with about two-thirds using existing transmission corridors. Like the Northern Pass, however, NECEC faces opposition from groups fearful that the[…]

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  • Climate Change to Become ‘Greatest Pressure on Biodiversity’ by 2070

    Climate Change News Jun 20, 2018 | 07:04 am

    Climate Change to Become ‘Greatest Pressure on Biodiversity’ by 2070 The combined effects of global warming and land-use change could cause the world’s ecosystems to lose more than a third of their animal species by 2070, a new study finds. Climate change is expected to become the largest driver of biodiversity loss by the second half of the century, the research finds, surpassing the effects of deforestation and agriculture. The local loss of species could greatly impair the ability of ecosystems to function as normal, the lead author tells Carbon Brief, which could, in turn, threaten natural services, such as pollination. Read more at Climate Change to Become ‘Greatest Pressure on Biodiversity’ by 2070

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  • Tuesday 19

    Climate Change News Jun 20, 2018 | 06:17 am

    Tuesday 19

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  • Coastal Real Estate Worth Billions at Risk of Chronic Flooding as Sea Level Rises

    Climate Change News Jun 19, 2018 | 06:00 am

    Coastal Real Estate Worth Billions at Risk of Chronic Flooding as Sea Level Rises More than 150,000 homes and businesses could face frequent high-tide flooding within 15 years.  That could double by 2045, a new report says.Most people check out Zillow, a popular online real estate app, for information on how many beds and baths a house includes, or the quality of local schools, or how long a home has been on the market. But climate experts at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) saw Zillow as just the kind of big data needed to better inform assessments of the risks of flooding to properties around the nation's rim.  And looking at the app through that screen, they have turned up some troubling visions. Property losses in the United States could run into the hundreds of billions of dollars unless rapid action is taken to bring climate change under control, they warned in a study released Monday. The owners of more than 150,000 existing homes and commercial properties, worth $63 billion, could find their assets at risk from repeated flooding in the coming 15 years.  That risk could double by 2045. Read more at Coastal Real Estate Worth Billions at Risk of Chronic Flooding as Sea Level Rises

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  • White House Called Pruitt's Climate Plans 'Out Of Control'

    Climate Change News Jun 19, 2018 | 05:44 am

    White House Called Pruitt's Climate Plans 'Out Of Control' Last summer, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was publicly talking up his plans to launch a debate aimed at poking holes in mainstream climate science. His policy chief, Samantha Dravis, got an email from President Trump's energy adviser Mike Catanzaro asking for an urgent meeting to talk about Pruitt's "red team" climate science review. "There are a lot of reports about EPA's planning on this," Catanzaro wrote July 25.  "None of it is being run by us.  This seems to be getting out of control."...'Push and pull'With the red-team approach, Pruitt's intention "was to really attack the science behind the endangerment finding," a former administration official told E&E News last week. The endangerment finding on greenhouse gases is a scientific determination that underpins EPA's climate regulations, and many conservatives hope a red-team exercise will be used to unravel that finding.  "Pruitt really believed that a red-team, blue-team exercise would go to the heart of challenging the science behind all this," the former official said. First he'd have to get past the White House. There was a constant "push and pull" between EPA and the White House last year over the red team, the former official said.  The White House was "just trying to stall it." After Pruitt's aides circulated the draft release on Nov. 4 last year, Pruitt's chief of staff, Ryan Jackson, sent it in the body of an email saying, "I think we are set.  Good?" But the next day, Jackson received an email from sooners7@epa.gov — an address[…]

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