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China And Russia Pledge ‘Changes Not Seen In 100 Years’

China’s President Xi Jinping traveled to Russia to meet Vladimir Putin on March 20. While in Moscow, Xi said, “Right now there are changes the likes of which we haven’t seen for 100 years, and we are the ones driving these changes together”. Putin replied, “I agree”. The two leaders discussed plans to deepen economic integration. Both took aim at the hegemony of the US dollar, in particular. “It is important that our national currencies are increasingly used in bilateral trade”, Putin said on March 21. “We should continue promoting settlements in national currencies, and expand the reciprocal presence of financial and banking structures in our countries’ markets”.

Bridport Goes Solar

A Transition group is exploring a new way to make it cheaper and easier for residents to install solar panels on their roofs. Sustainable Bridport (the new name for Transition Town Bridport) negotiated a discount from a local PV panel installer – if the group facilitated a number of homes to come forward for solar panels at the same time. Sam Wilberforce said the approach allowed them to smooth the way for individual householders, who may not have time or knowledge to research different options. Yet neighbours often live in similar houses and face similar challenges – looking at a whole area can be more efficient.

Europe’s Gas Lobby Exploits Energy Security Fears Over Past Year

Europe’s gas industry has ramped up its messaging since Russia invaded Ukraine, exploiting fears over energy security to justify projects that risk locking the continent into long-term dependence on fossil fuels, DeSmog can reveal. Four big industry groups began to post many more tweets portraying investments in gas and related infrastructure as the key to secure energy supplies soon after the invasion started — and maintained this strategy throughout last year, an analysis of their social media accounts found. The lobby groups were Gas Infrastructure Europe; Gas For Climate; Eurogas; and the European branch of the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers, which represent companies operating pipelines, gas storage, and infrastructure to import liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The Natural Gas Industry Sees Cow Manure Gas As The Key To Net Zero

Chevron has been talking a lot about cows lately. Alongside POLITICO articles about clean energy, in D.C. newsletters, on Facebook and LinkedIn, are Chevron’s recent ads featuring taglines like “We’re looking to turn the methane from cow 💩 into the fuels of the future.” Each ad links to a page on Chevron’s website which explains how methane captured from manure is actually “renewable natural gas.” But Chevron isn’t the only one talking cow manure. As world leaders convened in Egypt last November to negotiate climate action at the United Nations COP27 summit, a dairy industry trade association also ran a social media campaign highlighting efforts to “upcycle methane” from cattle.

Rebecca Solnit: Hope Amid Climate Chaos

From throwing soup against paintings, to blocking roads, to striking for the climate, to stopping private jets from taking off, activists worldwide are pushing harder than ever for action to address global warming. And they are delivering a clear and consistent message: What has long been accepted as the status quo — expanding fossil fuels, investing in polluting industries, oil and gas propaganda, greenwashing, climate change denial, governmental delay in climate action — is simply not acceptable anymore. The climate movement is working incessantly to make this clear to everyone.

Europe Proposes Mass Exit From Energy Treaty

The 1998 Energy Charter Treaty, which has around 50 signatories including European Union countries, was designed to protect companies in the energy industry by allowing them to sue governments on policies affecting their investments. But in recent years it has been used to challenge policies that require fossil fuel plants to shut – raising concerns that it is an obstacle to addressing climate change. France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain have already announced plans to quit the treaty, increasing pressure on Brussels to coordinate an EU-wide withdrawal. In a document shared with EU countries and seen by Reuters, the European Commission said the “most adequate” option would be for the EU and its 27 member states to leave.

These New York City Apartments Are Affordable — And Sustainable

New York City, New York - Ultra-efficient high-rises and net-zero neighborhoods now in development could offer a blueprint for cities grappling with rising carbon emissions and dwindling affordable housing. In East New York, a residential area in the outer reaches of Brooklyn, a 14-story apartment building rises from the site of a demolished water pumping facility. With airtight insulation and advanced ventilation, the new brick-clad complex is designed to use as little energy as possible. Rooftop solar panels and electric appliances limit the need to burn gas for heating and cooking, reducing indoor air pollution and planet-warming emissions. The 275 apartments at Chestnut Commons are some of the most energy-efficient units in New York City. Just as crucially, the climate-friendly building is reserved for low-income households, in a neighborhood where more than one-third of residents live below the poverty line.

How To Tackle Power Shutoffs, Utility Greed And The Climate Emergency

If companies make investments in old and dangerous technology, jeopardize public safety, jack up prices, pay executives outrageous salaries, pass all those costs on to customers and then deny some folks their product, you would think those companies go out of business. Not so with corporate utilities, who deal in the life-and-death provision of electricity and essentially hold consumers hostage to dirty power and high rates. A recent report we authored, “Powerless in the United States,” exposes the utility industry profiteering that we found has deprived households of power more than 5.7 million times since 2020 while returning billions of dollars to shareholders and executives. Utilities’ dangerous, short-sighted overinvestments in fossil-fuel infrastructure are driving fossil fuel price volatility and perpetuating the shutoffs crisis. And it’s all happening in the midst of catastrophic climate change that’s upending communities across the country with deadly blizzards, floods, fires and heatwaves.

Oil Lobby Prompts Right-Wing Media To Save Whales—From Wind Power

As a humpback whale was found on the shore at Brigantine, New Jersey on January 12—the seventh dead whale to wash up on a New York or New Jersey beach since December 5—local Republicans rushed to blame it on offshore wind development projects. “Not even the whales can survive [New Jersey Gov.] Murphy’s Energy Master Plan,” lamented the Jersey GOP on Twitter (1/18/23). The partisan account linked to a story in the New Jersey Monitor (1/17/23) with the alarming headline “Debate Grows Over Offshore Wind, as Whale Deaths Mount.” The article began by laying out that debate—”environmentalists put out dueling calls to continue or curtail offshore wind work”—before including an important clarification about wind farm construction and the whale deaths: “no evidence shows it caused the casualties.”

Utilities’ Failures And Shady Practices Show We Need Energy Democracy

In June of 2021, torrential rains flooded the City of Detroit and surrounding areas, causing over $100 million in damages, mostly in poor, Black, and Brown neighborhoods. Kamau Clark, an organizer for the nonprofit We The People Michigan, moved into his apartment in Detroit’s West Village neighborhood just two days before the storm. “I came home at 2AM and the apartment was flooded,” he recalls. Overwhelmed and unsure of where to turn, Clark went to a town hall on the city’s east side, where representatives from water and sewage authorities tried to explain the situation to him and a crowd of angry residents. According to officials, the city’s infrastructure was not fit to handle the unprecedented volume of rain. However, there was another problem — the storm had also caused a power outage at the city’s wastewater facilities, rendering some of their pumps only partially operational. At the time, city officials told residents that it was these outages, combined with the heavy rain, that caused the record flooding.

‘Robin Hood’ Strikes In France

France has been roiled by protests over President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal to raise the retirement age. On both January 19 and 31, over a million people across the country took part in demonstrations, and last week, workers with the CGT union took a more radical approach: they provided free energy as part of so-called “Robin Hood” operations. Many members of the CGT, one of France’s largest labor unions, work in key energy sectors like oil refineries and power grids. In workers’ assemblies in Paris, Marseilles, Lille, and other cities, they unanimously decided to provide free energy for low-income households, hospitals, schools, and other public buildings and services. Workers also cut power for several hours to the office of a lawmaker from Macron’s party, disabled speed cameras, and manipulated electricity and gas meters to reduce bills for small business owners.

These Artists Are Turning Their London Street Into A Solar Power Station

The climate crisis, the energy crisis in Europe and rising power bills are inspiring many people to rethink where their power comes from and imagine possible alternatives for their energy needs. One artist and filmmaker couple in London are focused on the street where they live. Hilary Powell and Dan Edelstyn live in a narrow brick house on Lynmouth Road in the Northeast London neighborhood of Walthamstow and they’ve begun transforming their street into a solar power station. Their Power Station project intends to help as many of their neighbors switch from relying on fossil fuel power plants to generate their electricity to solar power through a series of local actions. “POWER is a ‘show and do’ project building a solar POWER STATION across the rooftops (streets, schools, community buildings) of North East London via enacting a grassroots Green New Deal – working with art and infrastructure to tackle the interlinked climate/energy/cost of living crises.

Designing A US Transit System With Smaller, Fewer Cars Could Cut Lithium Demand And Mining Harms Of EV

One of the less sustainable aspects of the drive to transition from gas to electric vehicles (EVs) is that building them requires metals and minerals that must be mined from the Earth, an activity that raises both ecological and environmental justice concerns. In fact, a new report from the Climate and Community Project and the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), found that, if current trends for EV demand hold through 2050, the U.S. alone will require three times the amount of lithium that is now available on the market globally. However, replacing every gas-powered car with an EV isn’t the only way to decarbonize transit. Alternative steps including designing a less car-intensive transportation system, reducing the size of EV batteries and encouraging lithium recycling could reduce lithium demand by up to 92 percent from the worst-case scenario, according to The Guardian.

Democrats ‘Funneled’ Utility Money To Climate Candidate Challenger

Louisiana - Louisiana Democratic Party leaders are accused of funneling thousands of dollars from utility companies to the campaign of a fossil fuel–friendly candidate who ran for reelection on the state’s utility regulatory committee. Campaign finance records filed this week show that the Party received more than $90,000 in donations from utility companies, energy producers, and their executives during the elections for two Louisiana Public Service Commissioners. The same utility companies — Entergy, Cleco, and CenterPoint Energy — also donated directly to incumbent Lambert Boissiere III, whose campaign was largely sponsored by industry groups. Entergy, Cleco, and CenterPoint Energy did not respond to requests for comment for this story. Despite these industry donations to his opponent, climate candidate Davante Lewis won the District 3 Commissioner seat, which represents parts of New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

Peru: CIA-Linked US Ambassador Meets With Mining And Energy Ministers

The US ambassador in Peru, Lisa Kenna, is a CIA veteran who supported a parliamentary coup in December 2022 that overthrew the South American nation’s democratically elected left-wing president, Pedro Castillo. Castillo was subsequently imprisoned for 18 months without due process, setting off massive protests across Peru. The unelected government responded with extreme violence, killing approximately 50 protesters in just over a month. One day before the December 7 coup, the former CIA officer turned US ambassador met with Peru’s defense minister, who subsequently told the country’s powerful military to turn against President Castillo. Since then, Kenna has been quite busy, regularly meeting with top officials in Peru’s coup government, including unelected President Dina Boluarte and her ministers.
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