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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.
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.
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.
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.
Public Policy Institute of California;
Presents survey results on Californians' views of the federal Gulf of Mexico oil spill response, offshore drilling, the effects of global warming, the impact of emissions regulation on the economy, and other energy and environmental policy issues.
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.
Public Policy Institute of California;
Presents survey findings about support for building more nuclear power plants, off-shore drilling, stricter fuel efficiency standards, and other energy and environmental policy issues. Analyzes results by county, demographics, and political affiliation.
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.
Resilient communities are strong communities. Unfortunately, some communities - especially those that are primarily people of color or historically low-income - are disproportionately impacted by environmental, economic, and social challenges. And yet, when we design the built environment to address these challenges, the voices of the residents are often left out of the process.The Sasaki Foundation Design Grants focused on the biennial theme of resilience to highlight the role of design in building stronger communities - proactive approaches to climate adaptation, housing, transit, and placekeeping - the Sasaki Foundation issued a call for proposals to find projects that engaged with communities in the Gateway Cities, Metro West, and Greater Boston.In 2019, the Sasaki Foundation received 18 applications representing 42 organizations, 11 institutions, 8 Boston communities, 6 Greater Boston cities, and 2 Gateway Cities. Finalists pitched their ideas to win grant money and coworking space in the Incubator at Sasaki. The three winning teams spent ten months in the Incubator working on projects that promote equity in design.
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.
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.