The latest news from the U.N. climate conference in Paris, which runs through Dec. 11.
“Our results indicate that, pound for pound, coal-burning particles contribute roughly five times as much to heart disease mortality risk as the average air pollution particle in the United States,” said George D. Thurston, a professor of population health and environmental medicine at New York University and lead author of the study. Thurston and the study’s 10 other authors said that their findings should end assumptions in previous studies that carbon “particles have the same toxicity, irrespective of their source.”
The Kemper County power plant was supposed to be up and running by now, showing the world how to burn coal without spewing climate-warming carbon pollution into the air. Instead, the coal plant towering over pine trees and pastures in rural Mississippi is looking like another monument to the unfulfilled promise of carbon capture technology.
Arkansas’ two Republican senators say they will place a hold on a confirmation vote for a U.S. Department of Energy nominee because of their concerns over a proposed wind-energy transmission line that would cross the state. U.S. Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton said Wednesday they will place a hold on the confirmation vote for Victoria Wassmer, who is President Barack Obama’s nominee for the department’s undersecretary for management and performance. A Senate committee advanced Wassmer’s nomination last month.
Another 73 companies joined a White House pledge to reduce emissions and water usage, buy renewable energy or take other climate-friendly steps as part of President Barack Obama’s effort to enlist corporate backing for his efforts to combat climate change.
The companies, which include retail giant Amazon.com Inc., chemical conglomerate DuPont Co., and JetBlue Airways Corp., bring the total that have joined the administration’s initiative to 154 companies. The pledge, launched in July, asks companies to cut waste and reduce their carbon footprints. Participants employ 11 million people and account for some $4.2 trillion in annual revenue.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius dismissed a U.S. House vote to gut the cornerstone of President Obama’s international climate change promises, saying opposition in Congress won’t derail talks here toward a new agreement. “My sense was that wasn’t a great surprise, what happened. We know the position that the Congress has, at least the position of many Republicans in Congress,” Fabius said. “In fact, we discussed this the other day with President Obama when we were having dinner. For him, it wasn’t a surprise.”
Just days after the announcement of a new multibillion-dollar global fund to boost clean energy research, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz made the rounds on Capitol Hill to sell the plan.
Leading U.S. businesses generated 907 megawatts of solar energy from photovoltaic arrays installed on warehouses, retail stores and other commercial buildings in 2015. That represented a 183 percent increase in on-site solar generation by reporting businesses since 2012, according to data released today by the Solar Energy Industries Association. In its latest “Solar Means Business” report, SEIA found that early corporate adopters of photovoltaic technology have expanded their portfolios, in some cases substantially, over the last four years. At the same time, a growing number of new companies are investing in solar, drawn by the benefits of low-cost clean energy.
By now, every coastal municipality and the three coastal congressional representatives have rightly voiced opposition to drilling for oil and natural gas off the state’s coast. Fortunately, a much cleaner energy alternative is showing offshore potential. This month, the federal government asked businesses to submit proposals for wind farm leases off the South Carolina coast. That’s the most concrete step so far in opening up the coast to offshore wind energy
Inslee departs this week for United Nations conference aimed at bolstering global commitments to combat climate change
Inslee is credentialed for COP21 by the U.S. State Department. He will help promote U.S. action on climate and participate in discussions with other subnational entities about the importance of regional and subnational collaborations such as the Pacific Coast Collaborative and Under2 MOU, both of which Washington is a founding signatory. Inslee will also meet with businesses about the strength of Washington’s clean energy economy and opportunities for recruitment or expansion.