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Utilities That Pledge ‘Net Zero By 2050’ Are Doing Little To Achieve That Goal

Like many utilities, Southern Company, the second-largest gas and electric company in the United States, has a “net zero” climate pledge. A page on its website features gleaming solar panels pointing toward a blue sky, where the utility acknowledges the importance of the Paris Agreement. “Key to Southern Company’s environmental initiatives,” the company offers, “is a net-zero transition focusing on greenhouse gas emissions reductions, decarbonization, and a Just Transition.” Apparently, Southern Company’s green energy keywords haven’t translated into actual policy. All the company’s subsidiaries—Alabama Power, Georgia Power, and Mississippi Power, which together serve 9 million customers— get an F on a national report card.

How Community Energy Initiatives Can Be An Effective Tool For Degrowth

The consensus among scientists is resounding: climate change poses a grave threat to both human wellbeing and the overall health of our planet. We need to dramatically cut down on emissions across all sectors and industries, with bold actions in this decade. This process must be fair and prioritize equity, inclusion, climate and environmental justice, and social justice. At its heart, this process calls for a reevaluation of our approach to “development”. It is evident that ceaseless economic growth driven by capitalism is neither sustainable nor desirable in the long run. Instead, we should strive to downsize our patterns of production and consumption in a way that prioritizes human wellbeing, ensuring that everyone can thrive.

India Is Fighting Heatwaves With Solar Cycle Tracks

This innovative new solar cycle track in Hyderabad City offers one way in which less polluting and healthier transport might contribute towards a rapid transition, despite the growing physical challenge of living with climate change-driven heat. Extreme heat is already a problem in India and deadly heatwaves are set to grow increasingly severe as global tempertures rise. According to Telegana state authorities, this is the first long-distance solar panel covered cycle track in India. Laid alongside a major highway in Hyderabad city, it has a solar roof with an installed capacity of 16 MW – enough to provide power to thousands of homes.

Fossil Fuel Giants Have Committed £40.4 Million To UK Universities

Many of these commitments have been accepted by institutions that have actively pledged to divest from oil and gas companies. According to freedom of information requests submitted by DeSmog, more than £40.4 million has been pledged to 44 UK universities by 32 oil, coal and gas companies since 2022 in the form of research agreements, tuition fees, scholarships, grants, and consulting fees. Most of the funding spans the current academic year, with a handful of projects running for a number years, up to as far as 2027.

The Solar World We Might Have Had

We needn’t have had Fukushima at all, now 12 years old and still emitting radiation, still not “cleaned up”, still responsible for forbidden zones where no one can live, play, work, grow crops. We needn’t have had Chornobyl either, or Three Mile Island, or Church Rock. We needn’t have almost lost Detroit. We could have avoided climate change as well. Not just by responding promptly to the early recognition of the damage fossil fuels were doing. But also by heeding one sensible plan that, if it had been acted upon, would have removed the nuclear power elephant from the energy solutions room and possibly also saved us from plunging into the climate catastrophe abyss in which we now find ourselves.

Hundreds Of Scientists Endorse Demands Of March To End Fossil Fuels

Nearly 400 scientists signed a letter today endorsing the demands of the March to End Fossil Fuels, which will take place Sunday in New York City. Original signers of the letter include noted climate, public health and environmental scientists Rose Abramoff, Robert Howarth, Mark Jacobson, Peter Kalmus, Sandra Steingraber, Farhana Sultana, Lucky Tran and Aradhna Tripati. Addressed to President Biden, the demands of the letter and march include: halting federal approval of new fossil fuel projects, like pipelines and export terminals; phasing out oil and gas extraction on public lands and waters; and declaring a climate emergency

Sanctions Failing: EU Imports More Russian Gas, China Beats US Tech War

Western sanctions are backfiring: The European Union is now importing Russian liquified natural gas at record levels, and China has made high-tech breakthroughs despite US export restrictions. Washington’s and Brussels’ economic warfare is, ironically, strengthening the economic sovereignty of Beijing and Moscow while blowing back on Europe. The world is living through a new cold war: Cold War Two. And one of the main ways in which this war has been waged is through economic means. Sanctions are the principal instrument of economic warfare. When they are imposed unilaterally by a country, without the support of the United Nations, they are referred to as “unilateral coercive measures” and are illegal according to international law.

The Wood Pellet Industry: A Dual Threat To Poor, Rural Communities

Wood pellets are a form of biomass that is versatile, concentrated and easily transportable. But making wood pellets is dirty and energy-intensive. After tree wood is dried and ground into sawdust, it is heated and pressed through molds to form small, cylindrical chunks of dense wood fiber. This form of biomass offers a least two advantages for energy producers. First, converting coal-fired power plants to burn wood pellets is relatively easy. Second, with much of the moisture removed, pellets are more economical to transport than raw wood. This is a significant benefit, since virtually all the industrial pellets made in the US are shipped overseas.

EU Weans Itself From Russian Energy; US Pushes New LNG Export Plant

Chester, Pennsylvania — When Zulene Mayfield testifies next week against plans to build a $6.8 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in her Pennsylvania hometown, she will be facing off against some of the most powerful fossil fuel interests in the United States. As co-founder of the community group Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living, Mayfield has spent years fighting to protect her majority Black and low-income city from the pollution spewed by the nearby Covanta waste-to-energy facility — the country’s largest waste incinerator. Now she finds herself pitted against a new confluence of forces — a lobbying effort by a fossil fuel complex stretching from her state’s Marcellus Shale gas fields to the boardrooms of European energy companies. 

Harold Pinter Had It Right

The British playwright and Nobel Prize winner Harold Pinter was an early critic of the Bush administration’s decision, endorsed by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, to declare a worldwide war on Islamist terrorism in the aftermath of 9/11. In the fall of 2002, Pinter was invited to make his case against the war before the House of Commons. He began his talk with a bit of embellished British history about an earlier wave of terror in Ireland: “There’s an old story about Oliver Cromwell. After he had taken the town of Drogheda the citizens were brought to the main square. Cromwell announced to his Lieutenants: ‘Right! Kill all the women and rape all the men.’

Aberdeen Community To Lose Last Green Space In Energy Transition Land-Grab

On Wednesday 9 August, campaigners from Climate Camp Scotland, This is Rigged, and Scot.E3 demonstrated outside the headquarters of Ironside Farrar in Edinburgh. Campaigners held the peaceful demonstration in solidarity with residents of Torry, Aberdeen. Torry is to be the site of a large-scale industrial development that threatens a precious local park and wetland. The project developer has commissioned Ironside Farrar to produce a master plan for the site. The coalition of climate groups and energy workers were protesting the advancing implementation of Scotland’s so-called Energy Transition Zone (ETZ).

Virtual Power Plants Offer A Climate-Forward Response To Hot Summers

As the country roasted last week under extreme heat made more intense by climate change, tens of thousands of Americans received text messages telling them they could get paid if they powered down their devices and appliances during specific periods of the day. If their homes were equipped with smart thermostats or smart water heaters, the devices may have powered down automatically. It may have seemed like a simple action to conserve energy during hours of peak demand. But behind the scenes, a number of companies that have emerged in recent years were working with utilities to monitor and respond to the stress on the grid as people blasted air conditioners to stave off the blistering heat.

Polluters Rely On Old Rhetoric To Block Clean Energy Future

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering proposals aimed at reducing climate-warming carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing coal and gas-fueled power plants. Power plants are the second-largest source of greenhouse gases in the United States, and the pollution standards, which are open for public comment until August 8, will mark a new milestone in climate action. But the United States’ biggest polluters and their political allies are pushing back — just as they have resisted every other landmark shift in the 60-year history of federal air pollution control.

Credit Unions Are Taking The Lead To Un-Redline The Green New Deal

Terri Mickelsen and about 7,500 of her friends aren’t waiting to jump into the green revolution. They’re members of Clean Energy Credit Union, where Mickelsen is CEO, and since 2017 they’ve already invested around $200 million in clean energy or other green loans for member households across the country, offsetting an estimated 700,000 tons of annual carbon dioxide emissions so far — equivalent to taking 152,000 gas-powered vehicles off the road permanently. Every month, they make another $6-8 million in green loans. “I am kind of a credit union nerd who got together with some clean energy nerds as we were chartering a new credit union,” says Mickelsen.

Proposed Pipeline Expansion Could Upend Three States’ Climate Plans

California, Oregon, and Washington have all passed laws and enacted policies that require utilities to dramatically cut carbon pollution over the next decade. But TC Energy, the Canadian owner of a major regional gas pipeline, has asked federal regulators to approve a plan that would dramatically expand the line’s capacity, flooding the region for decades with new supplies of methane gas – even as demand dwindles. Called GTN Xpress, the plan calls for upgrading three compressor stations – facilities that keep up pressure in the line and propel gas forward – along the 60-year-old, 1,377-mile-long Gas Transmission Northwest (GTN) pipeline, which carries fracked gas from British Columbia through the Pacific Northwest to the California border, where it connects with other pipelines.
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