Monthly Archives: December 2014

Gov. Inslee Unveils Plan to Reduce GHG Emissions

Gov. Jay Inslee introduced his plan to bring Washington State into alignment with the goals for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that were set into state law in 2008. His proposal is to develop a system for cap-and-trade of GHG pollution that would be “the most comprehensive and probably the most progressive carbon-pollution regulation system anywhere in the world,” according to Alan Durning, executive director of the Sightline Institute, as quoted by the Seattle Times. Inslee’s plan would raise $947 million in 2017 and the money would be allocated to the following programs:

  • $400 million on transportation projects.
  • $380 million on education.
  • $163 million on tax rebates and other help for low-income communities.
  • $3.5 million on administering the program.

Read more from the Seattle Times here.

Native Communities, Crabapples, and Climate Change

pacificcrabapple_berryThe crabapple is harvested by 37 Native cultures from Alaska to Oregon and Victoria Wyllie de Echeverria, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Oxford, has studied climate change on the Pacific Coast through changes to to the harvest and use of the fruit. She is now interviewing dozens of Alaska Native and Canadian First Nation elders to get a cultural and historical perspective on changes to the broader ecosystems. Read more here.

Solar Power is Booming

Check out this article in Mother Jones capacity-1-2 card-4-3for some very interesting facts about solar energy. For example, by 2016 solar power will be as cheap or cheaper than conventional electricity in every state except three. Also, in the past decade, the amount of solar power produced in the United States has increased by 139 times. But solar still only produces less than one half of 1 percent of the energy produced in the US, even though it could power the entire country 100 times over.

Lima, Peru Conference: First Steps for Climate Accord

Yesterday, the Twentieth Conference of the Parties (COP-20) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) concluded. After 2 weeks of meetings, climate negotiators from 195 countries have crafted an agreement for all countries to develop plans for limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

The plans are due to the UN climate committee by October 1. At that point the UN will analyze the impact the plans have on slowing climate change. Negotiators will begin working on an introductory document to all the plans at meetings in early 2015 in Bonn, Germany, and Geneva, Switzerland. The document will be presented and (it is hoped) approved at the next Conference of the Parties in Paris.

You can read analyses of the meeting results at Mother Jones or from Robert N. Stavins, participant in the meetings and Director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program.