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Environmental Policy

Warmest Winter on Record

March 28, 2015 by Tom Schueneman

Seasonal Temperature Records

According to the latest report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the average global land and sea surface temperature for the period of December 2014 through February 2015 was 1.42 degrees Fahrenheit (0.79 Celsius) above the 20th century average.[read more]

Reducing Stress on India's Grid With Efficient, Climate-Friendly Air Conditioning Refrigerants

March 27, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard

India Energy Consumption Efficiency

India leapfrogging over antiquated, soon-to-be obsolete, and inefficient refrigerants will benefit the power sector while saving consumers money. It will also advance the Indian economy, ensure Indian industries can compete in the international market, and help mitigate climate change.[read more]

Energy Quote of the Day: 'Before You Get Mugged by Reality, Take Out an Insurance Policy'

March 27, 2015 by Edward Dodge

Climate Change and Future Risk

Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz is urging climate change doubters to at least take out an insurance policy when it comes to carbon emissions and climate change. Shultz argues for sustained support for energy research and development along with a carbon tax.[read more]

Steroids for Efficiency: Digital Solutions for Juicing Building Energy Codes

March 26, 2015 by Matt Conway

Boosting Green Buildings

Massachusetts recently adopted a new energy code to improve building efficiency. The merits of the legislation are on display in Boston’s current building boom. At construction sites across the city, the latest energy saving building insulation, ultra-efficient windows and weather sealing technologies can be seen.[read more]

Carbon Pollution Standards that Begin by 2020: Vital for Climate Security, Human Health

March 26, 2015 by EDF Energy Exchange

Carbon Pollution Standards

The EPA is working on the Clean Power Plan – the first national carbon pollution standards for power plants. It is critical that EPA finalize carbon pollution standards for the power sector that include protective, well-designed standards beginning in 2020.[read more]

Springing Eternal: Seven Reasons for Hope on Climate Change

March 26, 2015 by Peter Dykstra
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Hope on Climate Change

Let’s look at what’s been happening in climate change action lately, because after years of bitter disappointment, things look different now. Because after years and years of cynicism, I see elements of a sea change in urgency and attitude on climate.[read more]

Energy Quote of the Day: Chinese Official Urges Emphasis on 'Climate Security'

March 26, 2015 by Edward Dodge

China and Climate Action

A top Chinese weather scientist told the Xinhua news agency that climate change could be a serious threat. It was a rare admission for a Chinese official, while the government has acknowledged global warming, it does not usually elaborate on potential problems from climate change.[read more]

Could India's Coal Plans Derail the Global Climate?

March 26, 2015 by Tobias Engelmeier

India Energy Needs and Coal

If India grew its electricity system based on coal (as China has done), would it derail the global climate? Under a “coal-heavy” scenario, India would need to increase is coal-fired power generation capacity from the 156 GW in early 2015 to 677 GW in 2035. What would be the CO2 implications of such a strategy?[read more]

Carbon-as-a-Service Businesses?

March 25, 2015 by Noah Deich

Cleantech Business Development

The Cleantech Group’s annual San Francisco Forum wrapped up earlier this week. The event’s theme was “Cleantech-as-a-service,” and featured parallel tracks named “Cloud” and “Connect.” Overall, this focus on technology-enabled business model innovation shows how mature the cleantech field has become.[read more]

Energy Efficiency 2.0: A New Definition Underway in California

March 25, 2015 by Christine Hertzog

What does energy efficiency mean to you? In states like California that employ aggressive energy efficiency policies and standards from widget to building envelope, it’s been a successful strategy to reduce per capita energy consumption.[read more]

The Emergence and Importance of President Obama's Climate Policy

March 25, 2015 by Steven Cohen

President Obama recently signed an executive order directing federal agencies over the next decade to cut their emissions by an average of 40 percent compared with their levels when he won office in 2008, and to increase their use of electricity from renewable sources by 30 percent.[read more]

How Should We Design Government Policies to Stimulate Innovation?

March 25, 2015 by Lucas Davis

Policy Supporting Innovation

 

Innovation needs to take center stage not only in Washington DC, but also here in California, which produces only 1% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. So the success or failure of California’s climate policies hinges on stimulating innovation that can be exported to the rest of the world.[read more]

When Reasonable Policy Discussions Become Unreasonable Personal Attacks

March 25, 2015 by Robert Stavins
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Coral Davenport wrote a story in the New York Times about the political debates in Washington regarding the proposed Keystone pipeline: “… most energy and policy experts say the battle over Keystone overshadows the importance of the project as an environmental threat or an engine of the economy."[read more]

Ozone Pollution in the West: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

March 24, 2015 by EDF Energy Exchange

Ozone in Western States

Long familiar in major urban areas, smog – what we experts call “ground-level ozone” pollution – is quickly becoming a serious problem in the rural mountain west, thanks to rapid expansion in oil and gas development.[read more]

Obama Signs Order to Cut Government GHG Emissions and Boost Renewable Energy

March 24, 2015 by Jared Anderson

Obama Administration and Emissions Reduction

Recently President Obama singed an executive order regarding government energy targets, toured a solar panel installation on the Department of Energy’s roof, and gave brief remarks before kicking off a roundtable with large US companies that do over $1 billion in business with the federal government.[read more]