December 7, 2018

December 6, 2018

China Is Both the Best and Worst Hope for Clean Energy

China is the world's biggest carbon polluter and it burns half the world's coal. But it's also a leader in renewable energy and gets a quarter of its electricity from renewable sources. That makes it a key country to watch in climate talks.

California’s Rooftop Solar Mandate Wins Final Approval

California's Building Standards Commission has given the final approval for a first-of-its-kind state policy that requires new homes in California to incorporate solar power by 2020. Combined with a host of other energy efficiency upgrades, the revised building codes are expected to slash energy use in new homes by more than 50 percent.

December 5, 2018

New W.Va. House Speaker's Ties to Gas Industry Highlight Legislative Ethics Loopholes

Legislative controversies over natural gas in West Virginia have grown in recent years, and lawmakers who stand to personally benefit have been directly involved. The speaker of the House, for example, who wields significant control over which bills come up for a vote, is an attorney whose clients have included natural gas companies and lobbying groups. But that isn't enough to keep him from voting on matters affecting the industry.

The Most Important Country for the Global Climate No One is Talking About

Indonesia is one of the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gases, but its climate policies haven't attracted much global attention=. Deforestation is one of the big reasons for the country's sizable emissions, and the country plans to increase its production of palm oil for biofuels, leading to even more forest loss.

December 4, 2018

After Coal Ash Verdict, Ill Workers Now Fighting for Compensation

For dozens of workers who cleaned up the nation's worst coal ash spill and became sick, a recent jury verdict against their employer was a major victory. Now, their attorneys will need to link each plaintiff's illness or death to toxic substances in the ash to determine financial damages. The outcome is likely to be closely watched by others who live near coal ash sites.

‘Clean’ Coal’s Dirty Secret: More Pollution, Not Less

Champions of coal claim it can be made environmentally friendlier using chemicals and a technology backed by a billion dollars in U.S. government tax subsidies annually. But a Reuters analysis of EPA data shows that power plants burning it often pump out more nitrogen oxides—the main contributor to smog—not less.

Wall Street Cleans Up on 'Clean' Coal Subsidies

The U.S. government's "clean" coal subsidies can mean big money for investors. Some have been selling chemically treated coal to utilities below cost while still making eye-popping returns from the government funds, Reuters reports in its deep dive into the subsidies.

Solar Energy Industry Remains a Bright Spot Amid Trump's Tariffs

Nearly one year after President Trump slapped a 30 percent tariff on solar cells and modules, industry leaders say the tariffs have suppressed growth but aren't hurting the industry as much as feared. A report from a solar industry trade group found that installations decreased 9 percent compared to last year.

Shell to Set Emissions Targets After Investor Pressure

As a result of pressure from investors, oil giant Shell says it will set emissions reduction targets that will be linked to executive pay. Shareholders had criticized the company for previously setting long-term "ambitions" to halve emissions by 2050 without binding targets for implementation.

December 3, 2018

With Just 2 Aging Icebreakers, U.S. Leaves National Security at Risk in a Warming Climate

Icebreakers are critical to science and security in the polar regions, and their importance is increasing as the planet warms. But the U.S. has been pushing off funding new ones, leaving the military with only has two aging icebreakers compared to Russia's more than 40. Now Congress is set to decide again whether to fund a new icebreaker—or spend that money on other projects, like Trump's border wall.

UN Chief Issues Dramatic Climate Appeal to World Leaders

International climate talks opened in Poland with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urging world leaders to take bold actions to avert catastrophic global warming. "In short, we need a complete transformation of our global energy economy, as well as how we manage land and forest resources," he said.

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