Weekend reads - Smart Energy Decisions

GHG Emissions, Regulation, Sourcing Renewables  -  September 26, 2020

Weekend reads: Calif.'s ban on gas-powered cars; Chanel pledges funding for low-income solar

It's the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web.

Why some US cities are plotting a ‘green recovery’ after the pandemic (The Guardian) The cars that typically throng the huge highways weaving through Los Angeles are such an established part of the city’s fabric that when the coronavirus pandemic hit, their sudden absence felt bizarre to locals even eerie. But many Angelenos have now discovered a new sort of relationship with their streets. “People have felt they own their neighborhood again, they feel connected to it again,” Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles’s mayor, told the Guardian in reference to streets that have reduced traffic, or even had it closed off, as offices, retailers and restaurants shut down.

Oil Billionaire Rokke Says It’s Time to Move Focus to Renewables (Bloomberg) Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Rokke, who built most of his fortune on oil and gas, says the time has come to start investing more heavily in renewable energy. The 61-year-old suggested that a tipping point had now been reached in the energy industry, while underscoring his conviction that the world will continue to need fossil fuels for years to come. “A good hunter is a patient hunter,” Rokke said during a webcast panel discussion. He also said that investors who started “too early” have “burned through cash.” Rokke’s investment company Aker ASA took steps earlier this year to spin off clean-energy units, joining a whirlwind of change that’s sweeping the global oil industry. The new companies have since surged in line with other renewable stocks as investors flock around sustainable assets.

Webinar: Safety First! Disinfectant UV Lighting Solutions for Healthy Environments (EMC) Wednesday, September 30, 2020, 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time. There’s no denying the major impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on nearly every aspect of our lives. To mitigate the rapid spread of the virus, businesses are turning to the use of ultraviolet lighting for safer environments. Unlike chemical sprays administered by employees or cleaning crews, disinfectant UV lighting technologies offer an effective, convenient and consistent approach to inactivating COVID-19 and other pathogens upwards of 99.9%. In this webinar, EMC will explore the types of UV, their properties, and how they work; UVGI technology available today and in the future, and applications to safely incorporate UV lighting in retail, commercial and educational facilities. REGISTER HERE

Making sense of new corporate sustainability pledges (Axios) Giant corporations that make sustainability pledges have long faced justified skepticism over greenwashing, but several recent moves look somewhat more "green" and less "washy." Driving the news: We're in the midst of a burst of new pledges by big multinationals, some of them around the annual "climate week" gathering of policymakers, companies and advocates. Catch up fast: The many moves yesterday and in recent days and weeks include... Walmart's pledge to zero out its operational emissions by 2040. Banking giant Morgan Stanley's vow to have net-zero "financed emissions" by 2050. Google's goal that within a decade its data centers will run around the clock on zero-carbon power. Amazon's start last week in spending money from its big climate tech VC fund.

California Plans to Ban Sales of New Gas-Powered Cars in 15 Years (The New York Times) California plans to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars statewide by 2035, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday, in a sweeping move aimed at accelerating the state’s efforts to combat global warming amid a deadly and record-breaking wildfire season. In an executive order, Governor Newsom directed California’s regulators to develop a plan that would require automakers to sell steadily more zero-emissions passenger vehicles in the state, such as battery-powered or hydrogen-powered cars and pickup trucks, until they make up 100 percent of new auto sales in just 15 years.

Chanel Is Pledging $35 Million for Solar Power for Low-Income Communities in California (Vogue) How can a fashion brand make an immediate difference in the fight against climate change? Many designers are examining their footprint and tweaking their supply chains—they’re using recycled materials, phasing out virgin synthetics, opting for lower-impact transport, and so on—which is a positive start. But Chanel is looking beyond its atelier, beyond its borders, and beyond fashion. Today, the French house announced a new partnership with Sunrun, a leading solar company in the United States, to bring solar power to 30,000 low-income residents in California. Chanel will also invest in job training to support the installation of those solar systems; its total commitment is $35 million.

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