June 20, 2019

Pollinator-Friendly Solar Energy Becomes the Norm in Minnesota

Planting prairie grasses and flowers beneath and around solar panels is becoming more common in Minnesota, providing a habitat for bee and butterfly populations and boosting soil health. The practice may even boost solar energy output on warm days if the thicker vegetation creates a cooler microclimate. Researchers are testing that hypothesis.

June 19, 2019

Investors Say Facebook, PayPal and Many Other Companies are Hiding Climate Impact

Targeting corporations like Facebook, Netflix, PayPal and Tesla, a consortium of investors is urging companies to spell out their plans for dealing with climate change. The group of nearly 90 banks, pension funds and financial managers are calling out 700 corporations — including some fossil fuel companies that formerly disclosed their environmental impact but stopped doing so.

June 18, 2019

Banks to Include CO2 Emission Measures in Shipping Loan Decisions

In an initiative called the "Poseidon Principles," 11 banks are establishing guidelines to measure the carbon intensity of shipping finance portfolios, assessing whether they are in line with the goals of the UN's International Maritime Organization. The IMO has been inching forward on regulating shipping fuel and recently agreed to stricter energy efficiency targets for certain types of ships, but environmental advocates say much work is still to be done.

Global Warming Is Pushing Microbes into Damaging Climate Feedback Loops

Global warming is supercharging some microbial cycles on a scale big enough to trigger damaging climate feedback loops, research is showing. Bacteria are produce extra carbon dioxide as the planet warms, spreading carpet of algae in the Arctic is soaking up more of the sun's summer rays and speeding melting of the ice. With those and other alarming microbial red flags, microbiologists are issuing a warning.

June 17, 2019

In Exxon Climate Fraud Case, Judge Rejects a Key Defense Tactic

A judge has prohibited Exxon from using the claim that it became a target of prosecutors because its position on climate change did not align with that of the attorney general's. Exxon is accused of engaging in a scheme to deceive investors by providing false or misleading assurances that it was managing economic risks posed by climate change.

Trump Official Pressed NASA Chief on Climate Science, Emails Show

Newly disclosed emails show a Trump adviser known for climate denial and a Heartland Institute analyst pressed NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine to "systematically sidestep" scientifically established rises in sea levels and temperatures under climate change. The pair were seemingly troubled that Bridenstine, a former skeptic, had come to better understand the science.

UN Chief Calls on EU to Raise 2030 Climate Goal to 55 Percent

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the European Union to ramp up its commitment to cutting greenhouse gas emissions to a 55% reduction — up from 40% — by 2030. "I am counting on you, once again, to demonstrate the leadership of the European Union," Guterres wrote.

June 13, 2019

America's Renewable Energy Capacity Is Now Greater Than Coal

For the first time, U.S. power plants can produce more energy from renewable sources than coal, according to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report. Coal consumption in the U.S. recently hit its lowest level in 40 years. "It's got nowhere to go but extinction," said one clean energy investment adviser.

Adani Wins Green Light for Australian Coal Mine

Adani Enterprises received approval to start construction of a controversial coal mine in Australia, but a recent drop in prices for low grade thermal coal has raised doubts about whether the mine will be financially worthwhile. "Government approval does not mean they have a marketable product," said Professor Peter Newman from Curtin University's Sustainability Institute.

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