Environment and Climate Change News

Newmont Mining Corporation Works To Become More Environmentally Friendly

(3BL/JustMeans) Mining is an industry that uses much water and energy. One mining company is doing what it can to become more environmentally friendly. That company is Newmont Mining Corporation, which has active gold mines in Australia, Peru, Suriname, Ghana and the U.S.

Aramark Works To Reduce Food Waste

About 30 percent of food in the U.S. is wasted. In 2010, 31 percent of food waste translated to 133 billion pounds of food worth $161 billion. Food waste is the single largest component of trash in municipal landfills. Food sent to landfill gives off methane as it rots, a greenhouse gas with a warming potential 23 times that of carbon. Landfills are the third largest source of methane emissions in the U.S.

Creating An Internet of Water Database Would Help Manage Water Sustainably

(3BL/JustMeans) Water is a precious resource, as the five years of extreme drought Californians have just lived through teach us. The lesson learned is how the private and public sector manage water can help take stress off of watersheds. To better manage water, open and shared data is necessary.

HPE Launches World’s First Supply Chain Program Based on Climate Science

(3BL/JustMeans) We all use devices that are connected to the internet. The demand for those devices is only going to increase. The trend is for more and more devices to increase the demand for computing and data storage. An estimated 100 billion connected devices in 2020 will create an even greater demand for computing and data storage than the current infrastructure can handle.

The Proximity Hotel Is the First U.S. Hotel to Earn LEED Platinum Certification

(3BL Media/Justmeans) — The hotel industry has a big environmental impact. Hotels use vast amounts of energy and water, and generate solid and hazardous waste. Some hotels are now grasping the importance of reducing their environmental impact.

Could a Clean Tax Cut Succeed Where Carbon Taxes Have Failed?

 

(3BL Media/Justmeans) — To say that the Trump’s administration’s disconnect from reality when it comes to climate change has created tensions both at home and abroad would be a vast understatement. Even fellow Republicans are uncomfortable with the extreme position taken by the president, one that totally defies well-established science. A number have openly broken from Trump in response to his decision to withdraw from the historic Paris agreement, including the governors of Massachusetts and Vermont,  who have joined the US Climate Alliance. Twelve states plus Puerto Rico, representing over 100 million Americans and one-third of the US GDP, have now formally joined the alliance, with ten other states expressing support. Altogether, those states represent 40% of the total US greenhouse gas emissions and one-third of US GDP.

Supporters of the withdrawal, are not questioning the science—in fact, they are not even talking about it. They are focused entirely on what they say the costs of compliance will be, with no mention of the cost of non-compliance. So how do we move forward on the policy front, with a bottom line-first, nothing-else-matters approach that only looks at one side of the balance sheet? Most attention has been focused on efforts to circumvent the president’s position which, as noted above, is substantial. But can anything be done at the Federal policy level?

It’s well known that after Trump is finished attempting to dismantle the health care system, his next target will be tax reform. Could there be an opening there?

A new proposal, born of conservative roots, called “clean tax cuts,” (CTC) just might have a chance. The proposal is the brain child of the Grace Richardson Fund, which seeks, “to spearhead new free market policy solutions to critical issues stuck in partisan gridlock.”

The key points to the proposal, which are spelled out here, are essentially a return of Reagan-style, supply-side tax cuts, only applied selectively to “all clean solutions.” The rationale behind it being, “if you want something more, tax it less.” The plan, which is described as “all carrot, no stick,” could be seen as a carbon tax turned on its head. Instead of punishing carbon usage, it rewards movement away from carbon. They claim it unites the interests of left and right: “ecology + tax cuts = clean capitalism.”

Record Green Energy Levels Not an Existential Threat to UK Utilities

(3BL Media/Justmeans) — The future is now, or at least it was on Sunday, June 11th in the UK. That’s because on that day, a combination of bright sunshine and blustery winds, along with nuclear generation, managed to provide a full 70% of the electricity being consumed that day. Even more significant, the energy mix produced the required kW-hours of energy while emitting less than 100 grams of CO2 for each one. That’s good enough to meet the ambitious target for the year 2030, whcih pretty well proves it can be done.

The UK has also seen other impressive milestones in the past few months, including a day where solar exceeded nuclear, and one day entirely without burning coal.

Of course, this signifies a big change, and big changes often have winners and losers. In Germany, for example, which took a bold leap into clean energy, there were serious financial impacts to traditional utility providers. Does a similar fate await utilities in the UK? After all, the UK has taken off the gloves, when it comes to renewables, with substantial investments in offshore wind as well as solar, and appears to be closing in on Germany in terms of generation capacity.

There is no doubt that the presence of solar and wind on the grid reduces prices and lowers demand. With variable pricing in place, we have seen moments when electricity prices have gone negative, meaning that power plants have actually had to pay people to use their electricity. This might be great for end users, but it can’t be good for the power plant operators. This has indeed been the German experience.

Las Vegas Sands "Clean Plate Challenge" Helps Reduce Employee Food Waste

Food waste is a gigantic problem. About 40 percent of food in the U.S. goes uneaten. Americans are throwing away the equivalent of $165 billion a year and that uneaten food winds up in a landfill where it rots, giving off methane, a greenhouse gas with a warming potential 23 times that of carbon dioxide.

G20 Groups Condemn Trump Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement

(3BL Media/Justmeans) — Yesterday, the chairs of the G20 climate and energy taskforces released a joint statement regarding the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. The statement called the action “shortsighted and irresponsible.”

The letter was written in anticipation of the G20 summit which is scheduled to take place next month in Hamburg. There are already tensions rising between some of the other G20 members, over how confrontational they want to be with the US at that meeting. Some, like German chancellor Angela Merkel, want to feature climate as a central issue, while others like Canadian President Justin Trudeau, want to focus more on those things that can be agreed upon.

In the statement’s own words, “This decision not only ignores the reality of climate change and the opportunities of an international framework for the necessary transformation but also undermines the standing of the United States as a reliable partner in solving global problems. Ignoring the threat posed by climate change endangers a sustainable future for today’s youth and coming generations. Today’s challenges are global in nature and require coordinated solutions and international cooperation. We need globally agreed upon targets and frameworks – like the Paris Agreement and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – to transform huge challenges into opportunities and to create a perspective for innovation, decent jobs, and a vivid civil society.”

The authors ask for the remaining 19 members of the G20, to remain committed. The document was signed by the B20 Energy, Climate and Resource Efficiency (ECRE) Taskforce leaders; the C20 Sustainability (Energy and Climate) Working Group leaders; the leaders of the L20, which represents the interests of workers; the T20 Climate Policy and Finance Task Force leaders; the leaders of the W20, which  is the official G20 dialogue focusing on women’s economic empowerment; leaders of the Y20, the official Youth Dialogue of the G20; and the leaders of the F20, the new G20 platform of foundations.

Friday 16 Is Daylight Hour​; 'Turn It Off' For The Planet​

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - A few weeks ago the world switched off the lights f​​or Earth Hour. Now, an industry-led campaign is inviting organizations around the wor​l​d to 'turn it off' this coming Friday, a few days before the summer solstice (June 21).

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