Action on Climate Continues – Local, Vocal, and Not Backing Down

December 4, 2016


Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel:

As the incoming Trump administration promises a retreat on the issue of global warming, executives of major corporations gathered in Fort Lauderdale this week to discuss how businesses could reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases.

The Companies vs. Climate Change conference at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 attracted representatives from Citigroup, Ingersoll Rand, Nasdaq, Avery Dennison, AmerisourceBergen, Bacardi, Alaska Airlines, United Airlines, JM Family Enterprises, Hertz, Office Depot, Subway, Amtrak, Walgreens and many other companies.

There were no representatives of oil companies or automobile manufacturers among the 200 or so participants, but the conference’s organizer said the turnout from major corporations showed that large segments of the business community were serious about dealing with climate change.

“In the wake of the election, it’s pretty clear that that climate solutions must – underline three times – must, be business driven,” said Jason Youner, chief executive officer of Companies vs. Climate Change, which organized the three-day conference that ended Friday. “The government’s not going to do it. The private sector has to do it. Corporations have to take the lead, and they really are. They’re doing a lot in this area. They know their customers want it. They’re making it happen, and that’s why we’re having a conference like this.”

Several corporate representatives said that reducing their environmental footprint has turned out to be good business.

“We are in touch with our key stakeholders – our employees, customers, our shareholders, and all of those constituents tell us that this is what they want to see,” said Joe Doolan, head of environmental affairs at TD Bank, founding sponsor of the event, which has 1,300 branches in the United States. “Quite frankly, it’s quite profitable.”

Scientific American:

Leaders from 90 world “megacities” meeting in Mexico City this week are sending a message that they plan to act on climate change—whatever national leaders do.

The sixth C40 Mayors Summit is occurring one year after the landmark conference in Paris, at which nearly 200 countries agreed to take steps to limit warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius compared with preindustrial levels. But it is also taking place in the shadow of last month’s election of President-elect Donald Trump, who has promised to “cancel” U.S. participation in the agreement.

In a call with reporters ahead of the conference Monday, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg acknowledged that the world has “a lot of concern” about the track Trump is likely to take on warming.

“But mayors, as we know, have never waited for Washington to act here in the United States,” said Bloomberg, who is also the United Nations’ special envoy for cities and climate change. “They’ve never waited for an international treaty to take steps to protect their citizens and improve public health. And whatever happens, mayors will continue leading by example.”

Bloomberg and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who is the incoming chairwoman of the group, released a report this week showing that the world’s large cities would need to peak emissions by 2020 and then nearly halve carbon emissions for every citizen in a decade to avoid the worst impacts of warming. This compares with a business-as-usual trajectory of a 35 percent increase in emissions over the next four years.

The so-called Deadline 2020 analysis proposes that city governments focus on placing key sectors in building, transportation and urban development on a low-carbon pathway. It estimated a price tag of $375 billion over the next four years for new climate-friendly infrastructure in C40’s 90 cities.



16 Responses to “Action on Climate Continues – Local, Vocal, and Not Backing Down”

  1. Good picture of Melbourne, Australia.

    • Yep, Yarra river (often nicknamed the upside down river due to its pollution content) and Flinders St. Station. Well spotted!

    • billzog Says:

      Whereas it’s Adelaide, South Australia, that’s actually the renewable energy and climate change action capital of the country.

      And our river doesn’t flow upside down!

    • dumboldguy Says:

      How’s the drought coming along down there? Is there much water in the Yarra? And how long will Adelaide remain “the renewable energy and climate change action capital of the country” if the Murray runs dry?

  2. andrewfez Says:

    I’ve always leaned towards the Amory Lovins camp of circumnavigating around Washington to solve the problem, and the only thing Washington seems like it’s good for is tax credits for doing the right thing and fuel efficiency standards.

    Between the EU, CA, and NY we’re heading in the right direction.

    The states that are hostile to green energy don’t have many energy users in them anyway – sparsely populated. The big exception is WV which has 10 major coal plants that sell 1/2 their energy to neighboring states. But WV also has untapped geothermal and wind resources.

    Wind and Solar are market competitive now.

    By the time wind and solar are overbuilt, cheap batteries will be coming online.

    There is a large market for green energy fueled by consumer demand. My Camry is starting to wear out after 18 years, so I’ll be purchasing a Prius Prime tomorrow. It has some carbon fiber stuff in it just like Amory Lovins predicted and advocated for in the transport sector. And we saw the public take over of the grid in, was it Boulder?

    There are hundreds of thousands of jobs now reliant on green energy.

    Okay it’s 3 in the morning – time for bed.

    • Make sure to test drive a Chevy Volt while you are car shopping. It’s less efficient in hybrid mode, but has more than twice the electric range, and it’s much nicer to drive.

      • andrewfez Says:

        Thanks Christophe

        I saw the Volts were on sale in my area for $30,000 to compete with the Prime, and of course you get a bigger tax credit and CA rebate for them, making them $21,000. But Prius has the lowest maintenance costs of any car on the road and has a proven track record of reliability over large mileage, and I want to keep it for at least 12+ years.

        Also where I live now, I don’t have a personal charging port, so I have to drive a little less than a mile down the road to the golf course/park, where LADWP has free charge ports. The smaller battery on the Prius (25 mile range) made more sense regarding charging times for me right now. I can go the the park for a couple hours, ride my bike a few miles around its periphery and when I get back I’ll be good to go. With the Volt, I’d get stuck there 4 or 5 hours trying to top it off.

        The one I got was around $21,000 after CA rebate and tax credit so they were head to head on price. Sales for them are on fire too around here in EV land.

        I was going to wait until I got home to WV to buy a new car but WV got rid of their tax credits and rebates for EVs and will only give drivers credit for converting their cars to propane or nat gas usage. Looks like they got rid of them about the same time the Tea Party infiltrated the state legislature. So instead of the struggling WV economy adding 27k (cost before rebate & tax goodies) to their GDP, I as a green consumer gave my $$ to the CA economy secondary to their more forward thinking.

        You better believe I won’t buy any solar panels, charge controllers, or inverters in WV either……….because you have to go out of state to find sellers for these things, unless you get the cheap hobbyist stuff at Home-Depot. So WV is going to lose some 60k worth of GDP (27k for car, 30k for off-grid/grid assist solar hybrid) for ignoring just one green consumer. There is a price for ignoring the green consumer.

        • Tom Bates Says:

          so what you are saying is you used political power to rip off the other taxpayers for all those credits and rebates. Instead of simply forking out your money you ripped off somebody else for the money unless of course some magic was involved. You do know the electricity is generated largely by fossil fuels so you have simply transferred the pollution from your tail pipe to the power plants exhaust stack.

          • andrewfez Says:

            Actually, I’m getting a lower tax rate for reducing our foreign dependence on oil. What’s wrong with paying a lower tax rate? If you’re a small American producer of oil, you’re first 15% of all gross income from oil and gas wells isn’t even taxed: Google ‘depletion allowance’ for companies producing <50k barrels of oil per day. And you know what Trump says when he writes off hundreds of millions on his taxes secondary to loopholes – that it 'makes him smart'. If I could pay the same tax rate as Trump over 15 years I'd be a millionaire by now.
            At any rate I paid a 9% sales tax rate for Los Angeles county so all the CA rebate is doing is putting my sales tax rate back to a more normal number.

            Yes the electricity comes from some fossil fuels in CA still, but it's not as bad as some other states. Also it takes a huge amount of electricity to refine oil to gas, so directly using electricity to run a motor more efficient than an ICE engine is indeed saving energy overall. And when a coal plant just spins at night because it can't shut down – might as well use that wasted energy for something – again making the entire system more efficient.

            As far as my political power goes, if the majority of the country wants us to continue the clean energy industrial revolution, that's called democracy son.

  3. Tom Bates Says:

    Warming is occurring, it is warmer than in 1625 the depths of the little ice age but colder than in 1000 AD. The warming from CO2 has been measured, 2/10ths of a watt when solar gain is 1360 watts.

    These companies are simply trying out how to make a buck from the scam when they know their present scam of sending jobs to China is going to come to a screaming halt soon after Trump takes office.

    • Jim Housman Says:

      Did this guy used to run the Bates Motel with his mother?

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Bates isn’t smart enough to “run” anything but his ignorant mouth. If he is indeed the Bates of hotel fame, his mother is the one who “ran” the place and Tommy-Poo just took out the trash (often getting lost on the way to the dumpster, I’d bet).

        I second Bryan’s ZZZzzzz……

    • ubrew12 Says:

      “their present scam of sending jobs to China” In 2015, China spent $102 billion on renewable energy, more than the EU and the US combined. That cost so many Chinese coal jobs that they’re currently backpeddling a bit to keep them employed. Bottom line: America’s energy policy doesn’t sent jobs to China. On the contrary, if we keep this up, reality will require us to BUY our renewable technologies from the Chinese. Following YOUR advice will send many more of OUR jobs to China. So, thanks for that, ‘Patriot Bates’.

      • I wonder if anyone has done any significant modelling on this?

        If Trump does decide to put a 45% import tax on Chinese goods into the U.S., longer term it would make any real difference? For example if China keeps investing in power generation with zero input costs and the US keeps taxing people to prop up fossil fuelled generation (the only way it could remain viable from what I have read from a number of sources) I wonder if the added costs would just make U.S. manufacturing increasingly uncompetitive?

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