No result found
Jacksonville Community Council, Inc.;
Many factors shape air quality, including weather and natural phenomena such as volcanoes and forest fires. Pollution travels around the world; winds transport pollutants in and out of the local environment. Sunlight interacts with natural or man-made chemicals in the air to enhance or inhibit the creation of pollutants. Heat and humidity can intensify the impact of pollution.Human-made air toxins and pollutants—both regulated and unregulated—from stationary (smokestack) and mobile (vehicle emission) sources damage air quality. Vehicles produce the largest amount of air pollutants in Northeast Florida. Jacksonville relies on non-renewable energy sources for energy production and transportation, primarily coal and fossil fuels that produce CO2—a major greenhouse gas implicated in climate change— which is an issue of special concern to Florida because of its low elevation and vulnerability to tropical storms.Unregulated suburban sprawl with the resultant ever-increasing commute times and the insufficient use of mass transit and its lack of availability on a regional basis lead to more people driving their own cars and more pollutant emissions. Northeast Florida lacks vigorous regional growth management and transportation planning.While this study, which began with a focus on air quality and air pollutants, does not attempt to address directly the connection between human activities and climate change, it became clear that many of the corrective actions proposed by responsible organizations to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and other toxic pollutants would also result in improved overall air quality, creating a win-win outcome. Furthermore, as the study proceeded, a number of major developments came to light:the Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency must regulate carbon dioxide emissions;the Florida Legislature created the Florida Energy Commission—with an advisory group on Climate Change—to create a state energy policy;Florida Governor Charlie Crist has called on the Legislature to allocate money for research on alternative energy sources, including solar power and fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol; andthe public has expressed increasing alarm about the potential impact of climate change.
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars;
Features articles on the U.S.-China relationship on climate change, industrial energy efficiency cooperation, carbon capture and sequestration in China, and local environmental enforcement, as well as commentaries on various other environmental issues.
American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE);
Energy efficiency may be the cheapest, most abundant, and most underutilized resource for local and economic and community development. considerable evidence documents that investments in energy efficiency can improve community self-reliance and resiliencel save money for households, businesses, anchor institutions, and local governments; create local jobs; extend the life of and reduce the costs and risks of critical infrastructure investments; catalyze local economic reinvestment; improve the livability and the local asset value of the built environmentl and protect human health and the natural environment through reducing emissions of criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases. Local leadership and commitment to energy efficiency is strong in many communities areound the United States. The specific responsibilities of local governments give them large influence over energy use in their communities. Cities and metropolitan areas can be the optimal scale at which to implement certain community-wide energy efficiency initiatives because of their interconnected labor markets , social networks, the physical proximity of interrelated economic activities to each other, and the resulting innovations and economies of scale. Local and metropolitan energy efficiency initiatives provide benefits where they are most tangible and visible to residents, directly improving the communities where residents live and work. This first edition of the "City Energy Efficiency Scorecard" ranks 34 of the most populous US cities on their policies and other actions to advance energy efficiency. It puts these actions in context by also presenting data on energy consumption in these cities when possible. By considering both policies and energy performance, this report reflects the current acitvities and historical legacies in each city, and as a result provides actionable information to policymakers and residents. The data on policies and other local actions and resulting scores help to identify cities that are excelling and those that have room for improvement. Examples are provided throughout the report of best practice actions being taken by leading cities in various policy areas. As a result, this report offers the beginning of a roadmap for any local government aiming to improve its city's energy efficiency through the most effective means possible, learning from other cities' succhesses and customizing best practice strategies to suit the local context and their community's priorities.
Center for Economic and Policy Research;
European employees work fewer hours per year -- and use less energy per person -- than their American counterparts. This report compares the European and U.S. models of labor productivity and energy consumption. It finds that if all countries worked as many hours per week as U.S. workers do, the world would consume 15 to 30 percent more energy by 2050 than it would by following Europe's model.
Abrams Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School;
This report advocates for improving entrepreneurs' access to residential energy-use data, thereby increasing the deployment of cost-effective energy-efficiency measures, generating saving and improving the environment. While this report does discuss policy, its focus is on informing policy makers on how to address liability, consumer privacy, and administrative concerns that could arise when third parties receive energy-use data from utilities. What makes this report novel compared to other efforts is that it provides model language for laws or rules that lawmakers or regulators can use as building blocks to open up access to energy data.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance;
Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2017, published on April 6th by UN Environment, the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre, and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, finds that all investments in renewables totaled $241.6 billion (excluding large hydro). These investments added 138.5 gigawatts to global power capacity in 2016, up 9 per cent from the 127.5 gigawatts added the year before.Investment in renewables capacity was roughly double that in fossil fuel generation; the corresponding new capacity from renewables was equivalent to 55 per cent of all new power, the highest to date. The proportion of electricity coming from renewables excluding large hydro rose from 10.3 per cent to 11.3 per cent. This prevented the emission of an estimated 1.7 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide.The total investment was $241.6 billion (excluding large hydro), the lowest since 2013. This was in large part a result of falling costs: the average dollar capital expenditure per megawatt for solar photovoltaics and wind dropped by over 10 per cent."The investor hunger for existing wind and solar farms is a strong signal for the world to move to renewables," said Prof. Dr. Udo Steffens, President of Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, commenting on record acquisition activity in the clean power sector, which rose 17 per cent to $110.3 billion.
This report identifies renewable energy options that are currently in wide use in some regions and that are now ready for large-scale introduction in many areas of the developing world. Through 26 case studies, the report cites biogas, small hydro, solar, wind, ethanol, and biodiesel, among other technologies, as viable options for poverty alleviation in developing countries.As their cost has declined and their reliability has improved, renewable energy technologies have often emerged as more affordable and practical means of providing essential energy services. Although the strongest renewable energy growth has been in grid-connected power systems and liquid fuels for transportation, several technologies are well-suited to providing modern energy services for low-income people. Scaling up a broad portfolio of renewable energy options can make a major contribution to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, concludes the report.The creation of REN 21 was sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. Formally established in Copenhagen in June 2005, REN 21 is now supported by a steering committee of 11 governments, five intergovernmental organizations, five non-governmental organizations, and several regional, local and private organizations.
Recent surges in gasoline prices and deepening instability in the Middle East are reminders that the world's heavy dependence on fossil fuels carries an array of hidden costs, including energy insecurity and damage to human health and the natural environment. Fortunately, more and more nations are recognizing that they can address these problems by investing in renewable energy. Solar and wind power are the world's fastest growing energy sources, and investors are pouring billions of dollars into these industries every year. Around the world, a growing number of nations have recognized the economic, social, and environmental benefits of renewable energy, and are enacting tax incentives and other policy measures favorable to renewable technologies. In Germany, Japan, Spain, and a handful of other countries, clear government commitments to renewable energy and strong, effective policies have overcome barriers and created demand for these technologies, leading to dramatic growth in renewables industries and driving down costs. If these countries stay the course and others continue to join the renewables bandwagon, they will end up not only with cleaner and more efficient energy systems, but will also reap economic rewards in the form of new industries and jobs.
Public Policy Institute of California;
Examines Californians' views on air pollution, global warming, energy and environmental policy including offshore drilling, politics, and how environmental and economic concerns affect their behavior; by region, demographics, and political affiliation.
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC);
Details how California has modeled some of the best ways that states can protect their economies and environments by working to reduce demand for electricity. Includes case studies that provide concrete examples of energy efficiency improvements.
Sustainable Solutions Lab University of Massachusetts, Boston;
As this report indicates, implementing CRB is necessary but not sufficient to prepare Boston's built environment for the freshwater and coastal flooding anticipated to result from climate change. Additional steps we must take include reforming existing tools, monitoring and evaluating flood adaptation activities, and establishing governance for district-scale coastal flood protection implementation. This report presents an array of options for moving forward. Over the next year or so, the City and relevant stakeholders will need to come together and decide which, if any, of these options provide the best paths forward for a more resilient city and region.We recommend that the Governor of Massachusetts and the Mayor of Boston establish a joint commission to explore the options and determine a path forward. There is an opportunity for us to learn from the transition to clean energy as we prepare for climate change impacts. We recommend that the legislature take a leadership role in this effort as well, in order to evaluate the different options available to the Commonwealth as we attempt to address this dynamic challenge.
Far from protecting the environment, most rail transit lines use more energy per passenger mile, and many generate more greenhouse gases, than the average passenger automobile. Rail transit provides no guarantee that a city will save energy or meet greenhouse gas targets. While most rail transit uses less energy than buses, rail transit does not operate in a vacuum: transit agencies supplement it with extensive feeder bus operations. Those feeder buses tend to have low ridership, so they have high energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions per passenger mile. The result is that, when new rail transit lines open, the transit systems as a whole can end up consuming more energy, per passenger mile, than they did before. Even where rail transit operations save a little energy, the construction of rail transit lines consumes huge amounts of energy and emits large volumes of greenhouse gases. In most cases, many decades of energy savings would be needed to repay the energy cost of construction. Rail transit attempts to improve the environment by changing people's behavior so that they drive less. Such behavioral efforts have been far less successful than technical solutions to toxic air pollution and other environmental problems associated with automobiles. Similarly, technical alternatives to rail transit can do far more to reduce energy use and CO2 outputs than rail transit, at a far lower cost. Such alternatives include the following: Powering buses with hybrid-electric motors, biofuels, and -- where it comes from nonfossil fuel sources -- electricity;Concentrating bus service on heavily used routes and using smaller buses during offpeak periods and in areas with low demand for transit service;Building new roads, using variable toll systems, and coordinating traffic signals to relieve the highway congestion that wastes nearly 3 billion gallons of fuel each year;Encouraging people to purchase more fuel-efficient cars. Getting 1 percent of commuters to switch to hybrid-electric cars will cost less and do more to save energy than getting 1 percent to switch to public transit. If oil is truly scarce, rising prices will lead people to buy more fuel-efficient cars. But states and locales that want to save even more energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions will find the above alternatives far superior to rail transit.