Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Sourcing Renewables - August 1, 2020
Weekend reads: Microsoft's groundbreaking climate goals; Expanding EV charging in the West
It's the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web.
41 states have reduced their carbon emissions while growing their economies (Fast Company) The U.S. needs a massive economic boost to recover from the coronavirus crisis, but how that boost happens will be crucial not just to the economy, but to the climate. A green COVID-19 recovery will create jobs and make the country even more resilient against a volatile future. This might sound like an impossible demand to put on the much-needed recovery, but in recent years most states have already shown that this is economically possible. Since 2005, 41 states and Washington, D.C., have increased their GDPs while reducing their carbon emissions, debunking the myth that economic growth can only happen at the expense of our environment.
Microsoft’s astonishing climate change goals, explained (Vox) You could be forgiven for missing it, given the surplus of news, but the past few years have seen a profusion of climate change commitments from big tech companies. Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple have all promised to shrink their climate footprints, each attempting to outdo the others. Climate advocates are naturally leery of these commitments. Those who lived through the faddish interest in climate in the mid-2000s, around the release of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, will recall the endless torrent of breathless corporate announcements. NBC had a “green week,” big corporations bought cheap offsets to become “carbon neutral,” automakers sold SUVs with vegan leather seats, and dozens of companies sold “sustainable” coffee cups, T-shirts, and tchotchkes. It was a greenwashing parade.
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Building Out Electric Vehicle Charging In The West Means All Hands On Deck (Forbes) Government agencies, utilities, automakers and technology providers alike are working hard to establish plug-in electric vehicle (EV) charging networks to support the growing EV wave nationwide. Electrify America recently completed its first cross-country EV charging route, the U.S. Department of Energy hosts a charging station locator, and Apple AAPL +7% launched a routing feature last month to its Maps app to help EV drivers locate charge ports along the way. While these solutions are promising, the industry still faces a major roadblock to the carefree cross-country road trip: the West.
Colorado’s Eastern Plains is big-time producer of renewable energy, ripe for even more, report says (The Denver Post) Along with wheat, corn and cattle, Colorado’s Eastern Plains grow another big crop: more than 95% of the state’s renewable energy capacity that produces thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in benefits each year. A report released Tuesday by The Western Way, a conservative organization that promotes environmental stewardship, in partnership with PRO 15 and Action22, policy and economic development organizations, highlights the importance of renewable energy to eastern Colorado.
France to ban heated terraces in cafes and bars (BBC News) France's government has announced new environmental measures, including a ban on heated terraces for cafes and bars. Ecology Minister Barbara Pompili said outside heating or air conditioning was an "ecological aberration". The ban would not come into force until after the winter as restaurants have been hard hit by Covid-19, she added. All heated or air-conditioned buildings open to the public will also have to keep their doors closed to avoid wasting energy. Ms Pompili told reporters it was wrong for shops to "air-condition the streets" in summer by keeping their doors open just to spare customers from having to open them.
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