BlueGreen Alliance

Good Jobs, Clean Environment, Green Economy

 

Photo credit: Johns Hopkins University

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

A new Johns Hopkins model reveals the top 10 cities vulnerable to power outages during extreme weather. (Johns Hopkins University)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“This two-week extenders bill represents another low point in the world of dysfunctional Washington politics,” said Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) about a short tax break extension for the wind industry.

WHAT’S TRENDING

Charged – Freedom Industry officials were charged for criminal violations that in January caused drinking water contamination for around 300,000 Charleston area residents. (Charleston Gazette)

The following blog is by Michael Williams, Vice President for Strategic Development at the BlueGreen Alliance. 

Familiarity often brings comfort, yet the similar refrain that has happened year after year at the international climate negotiations should make us all a touch nervous. From Rio to Kyoto, Bali to Copenhagen, and Durban to Paris, we wind up with structured agreements that are supposed to lead to final agreements (but haven’t done so just yet). Maybe in Paris? 

Still, the threat of climate change is clear and the solutions seem clear, but the moral and political calculus of the situation is unnervingly complex. For a solution that is fair and just, all nations should have a voice. We should take into account historical precedent, but not ignore current contributions to climate change pollution levels. We are dealing with a situation that has impacts today and will have greater impacts each and every day afterwards. 

Posted In: Climate Change

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

Iowa could add about 1,300 more advanced energy jobs next year according to the Advanced Energy Economy Institute. This year, 22,643 workers at 1,427 companies worked in advanced energy fields. (Des Moines Register)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"If I'm mayor of Miami, we know about hurricanes, we know about outages and our system has been adapted for it. But if I'm mayor of Philadelphia, I might say, 'Whoa, we need to be doing more about this,'" said power grid researcher Seth Guikema.

WHAT’S TRENDING

$500 million – That’s how much the sale of carbon credits in North America has brought in through auctions in the past month. (Clean Technica)

Posted In: The Source

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

Source: World Health Organization

A new poll shows very few Americans have thought much about the global warming’s health impacts—7 in 10 gave it little to no thought. (Yale Project on Climate Change Communication)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“We are missing an important opportunity unless we choose to invest in both the economic and environmental needs of this and future generations,” said Kim Glas, the BlueGreen Alliance's Executive Director, about the UN Climate Agreement.

WHAT’S TRENDING

Global agreement – In the early morning hours on Sunday, global negotiators reached an agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The breakthrough is that it requires developing countries and industrialized countries to take responsibility. Here’s a further breakdown of what the UN climate deal does and does not do. (Washington Post & Vox)

Legal challenge – States and businesses prepare to take up legal challenges against the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. (E&E News)

Invest in wind – That’s the message a group of senators—led by Senator Franken—are sending to the Department of Energy regarding small wind projects. (The Hill)

Offshore wind for NC? – North Carolina coast holds vast potential for offshore wind, if only legislators would back the policies that help get these projects up and running. (WECT)

 

BLUE-GREEN LINKS

Christian Science Monitor: A universal hug in climate change pact

Reuters: Let nature play a role in climate adaptation, experts urge: TRFN

The following blog is by Michael Williams, Vice President for Strategic Development.

Two weeks ago, we released a letter that we sent to President Obama calling for action at this year’s COP, as we have done in the past. Check out the press release and letter.

Given the recent news that the negotiators have left out critical language on just transition, I want to highlight our specific recommendations to the U.S. on this issue, which is consistently one of our foremost priorities in this process.













YOU SHOULD KNOW…

The lights were kept on at the Capitol after another government shutdown was averted as the House passed a spending bill that will fund the government through next summer with just a few hours to spare before the midnight deadline. Here’s just some of what’s in the $1.1 trillion spending package. (Washington Post)

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

A majority of voters support efforts to curb methane emissions. According to a new poll, 63 percent of registered voters back standards for methane emissions and action by the administration. (The Hill)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“It’s a matter of doing our job, the job that Congress gave us to do. Environmental issues have never been, in the past, partisan issues,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy after the House had passed a budget that cut EPA funding.

WHAT’S TRENDING

Warmer air, warmer water – Slightly warmer air temperatures have had the ripple effect of raising water temperatures in the Chesapeake Bay for example. Water temperatures have warmed about 2 degrees in the last 50 years in bay tributaries. (Washington Post)

Successful block – A deal to fund the government from Congress has weakened some of the administration’senergy and environment programs. Democrats successfully blocked some of the worst riders proposed to undercut these initiatives. (U.S. News)

Posted In: The Source

The following blog is by Michael Williams, Vice President for Strategic Development

Last Thursday, I was proud to participate in an action in solidarity with the Ashaninka people of Saweto, an indigenous settlement in Peru near the border of Brazil. Leaders of the Ashaninka were murdered in September, purportedly by illegal loggers who have been ravaging the region against the rights of the people of Saweto and operating with impunity due to pervasive corruption. 

The men who lost their lives did so because they stood up to these illegal loggers for destroying their lands and stripping the old growth forests in the Amazon River basin with no concern—save for what the $11,000 a single old growth mahogany tree can fetch. (Please see the wonderful work done by the Environmental Investigation Agency for more information.)

On Thursday, with the support and organization of the International Trade Union Confederation, activists stood with the people of Saweto to demand justice. To demand that governments acknowledge the rights of the people of Saweto, to protect their lands and to stop illegal logging.

Become a LEEDer – The BlueGreen Alliance Foundation is teaming up with RMC Green Building Training to provide several online Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) courses. To sign up or view the course options, click here.

YOU SHOULD KNOW…

A deal may have been reached on a spending bill to keep the federal government funded through September. The heads of the House and Senate appropriations committees said the proposal is a “fair deal.” (Washington Post)

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“How can the public be prepared if the information about the hazards is withheld. Why should the people of New Jersey be kept in the dark?’’ – Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) on the findings of the New Jersey Work Environment Council’s latest report (see below).

As 2014 winds down, we’re reflecting on what we’ve accomplished this year and mapping the road ahead into 2015. We couldn’t do this work without the outstanding staff at BlueGreen Alliance and our partner organizations who drive our mission forward. It’s why we thought we’d share a few of the reasons that motivate us to work toward a stronger environment and more sustainable economy.   

 “As grants manager for the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation, I’m working for the clean energy movement because I believe we need all hands on deck to solve the climate crisis. I wouldn’t be able to look my children in the eyes if I didn’t feel like I was doing all that I can to protect their precious future,” said Leslie Robertson, grants manager. 

Posted In: Climate Change, Clean Energy