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Chicago Commits to 100% Renewable Energy By 2040
By Andrea Germanos
Chicago made history on Wednesday by becoming the largest U.S. city to commit to 100 percent renewable energy before the middle of the century.
It is, in the summation of Kyra Woods, Chicago organizer with the Sierra Club's Ready for 100 Action Campaign, "a monumental achievement."
According to the Sierra Club, the city council unanimously passed a resolution that commits the city to 100 percent renewable energy in buildings by 2035 and electrification of the city's bus fleet by 2040.
The nonbinding resolution, backed by the Ready For 100 Chicago Collective, points to the kind of extreme weather including catastrophic flooding the region is already experiencing. "Climate change," it reads, "will bring unprecedented environmental changes including extreme heat, heavy precipitation, and flooding to our region."
"Residents of communities experiencing disproportionate cumulative impacts of environmental exposures and population vulnerability, as well as other communities across Chicago, desire a just transition away from all fossil fuels that prioritizes environmental justice, public health, community self-determination, high-quality jobs, and ownership opportunities for local residents," the resolution also states.
As Woods noted, the move adds the Midwest metropolis to a list of more than 100 other cities including Atlanta, Berkeley, California and Gainesville, Florida that have adopted clean energy goals.
"The Chicago Collective who wrote this resolution — comprised of frontline environmental justice communities, green groups, and unions — proves that not only can Chicago build a climate-safe future for next generations, but that a truly just transition also creates good, family-sustaining jobs to lift up communities," said Kassie Beyer, campaign director of Jobs to Move America Illinois.
"We look forward to working with the mayor's office in making our vision for a just transition a reality," she added.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.
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Nestlé cannot claim that its Ice Mountain bottled water brand is an essential public service, according to Michigan's second highest court, which delivered a legal blow to the food and beverage giant in a unanimous decision.
A number of supermarkets across the country have voluntarily issued a recall on sushi, salads and spring rolls distributed by Fuji Food Products due to a possible listeria contamination, as CBS News reported.
If you read a lot of news about the climate crisis, you probably have encountered lots of numbers: We can save hundreds of millions of people from poverty by 2050 by limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, but policies currently in place put us on track for a more than three degree increase; sea levels could rise three feet by 2100 if emissions aren't reduced.
Poverty and violence in Central America are major factors driving migration to the United States. But there's another force that's often overlooked: climate change.
Retired Lt. Cmdr. Oliver Leighton Barrett is with the Center for Climate and Security. He says that in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, crime and poor economic conditions have long led to instability.
"And when you combine that with protracted drought," he says, "it's just a stressor that makes everything worse."
Barrett says that with crops failing, many people have fled their homes.
"These folks are leaving not because they're opportunists," he says, "but because they are in survival mode. You have people that are legitimate refugees."
So Barrett supports allocating foreign aid to programs that help people in drought-ridden areas adapt to climate change.
"There are nonprofits that are operating in those countries that have great ideas in terms of teaching farmers to use the land better, to harvest water better, to use different variety of crops that are more resilient to drought conditions," he says. "Those are the kinds of programs I think are needed."
So he says the best way to reduce the number of climate change migrants is to help people thrive in their home countries.
Reporting credit: Deborah Jian Lee / ChavoBart Digital Media.
Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.
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