5 Key Groups Getting on Board With Climate Solutions
We have a choice this election—and it starts with the leaders we choose.
That's the key word here: WE. In the climate movement, we are working every day to drive a shift away from dirty fossil fuels and create a safe and sustainable future for our planet. And together, we have the power to elect strong leaders who can make it a reality.
What's exciting is that increasingly, it's not only climate activists who are working for a clean energy future. Read on for proof that people everywhere are getting on board with renewables and other climate solutions. Then, take action to let your leaders know you're on their side when it comes to focusing on clean energy.
1. Key Financial Institutions Know Dirty Energy is a Bad Investment
Large banks and financial institutions are seeing that investment in fossil fuels is risky business. As renewable energy becomes more affordable and pressure builds for the world to reduce carbon emissions, it's starting to look like the finance industry is wising up. The World Bank Group, along with several other major players, is limiting the funding of new
coal power plants to only developing countries with no feasible alternatives. Ca-ching!
2. Large Businesses and Global Brands are Going Green
Lots of your everyday brands have been making small environmental changes for many years now, but recently, several huge businesses have been embracing clean energy in a big way.
Apple gets 93 percent of its energy from renewables, Intel gets 100 percent of its U.S. electricity use from renewables. Kohl's and Whole Foods receive more than 100 percent of their total electricity use from renewables. And many more have announced similar goals—certainly moving our future in the right direction.
3. Faith Communities are Embracing Renewables
Religious communities across the globe—spanning everywhere from the Himalayas to small islands—have also seen the light on renewable energy. Most notable might be the Vatican: Last year
Pope Francis called for urgent dialogue on global environmental issues, including climate change. When it comes to action, religious groups like Interfaith Power and Light are often on the front lines organizing people of faith by the thousands to support a sustainable future. Amen to that!
3. Youth are Driving Expansion of Clean Energy
Young people—they're maybe the most vocal group in the climate fight, perhaps because they have the most to lose. Student groups have led the charge for more solar powered schools,
divestment from fossil fuels, thousands of trees planted and even a global network of institutions helping one another to advance sustainability in schools. The drive we see from young people today to preserve our planet is reason enough to support leaders who can make a real change for their futures.
4. The Tide is Turning on Public Opinion
If all the different groups listed above aren't proof that people are getting on board with action to create a clean energy future, a 2015 Pew Research survey showed that a majority of people worldwide believe global climate change is a very serious problem. And a whopping 78 percent of respondents support their country limiting greenhouse gas emissions as part of an international accord like the Paris agreement. We read your message—loud and clear.
By Itai Vardi
A recent intensification in protests against Williams Partners' planned Atlantic Sunrise pipeline in Pennsylvania prompted a state senator to propose legislation aimed at limiting demonstrations.
Last month, Pennsylvania Sen. Scott Martin (R-Norman) announced his intention to introduce legislation that would pass the costs of law enforcement responding to protests onto the demonstrators. Martin also helped introduce a different bill that would criminalize protests at natural gas facilities.
The so-called "first and last mile" problem is one of the biggest hurdles with public transportation. How do you encourage more people to take Earth-friendlier commutes when their homes are miles away from the train or bus station?
One solution, as this Estonian electric scooter company proposes, is to simply take your commute with you—literally. Tallinn-based Stigo has developed a compact e-scooter that folds to the size of a rolling suitcase in about two seconds.
[Editor's note: I'm still in shock after hearing the news that Lucia Grenna passed away in her sleep last week. When we first met in April of 2014 at a Copenhagen hotel, I was immediately taken by here powerful presence. We spent the next couple days participating in a Sustainia climate change event where Lucia presented her audacious plans to connect people to the climate issue. I had the chance to partner with Lucia on several other projects throughout the years and work with her incredible Connect4Climate team. I was always in awe of her ability to "make the impossible possible." Her spirit will live on forever. — Stefanie Spear]
It is with a heavy heart that Connect4Climate announces the passing of its founder and leading light, Lucia Grenna. Lucia passed peacefully in her sleep on June 15, well before her time. We remember her for her leadership and extraordinary ability to motivate people to take on some of the greatest challenges of our time, not least climate change.
By Stacy Malkan
Neil deGrasse Tyson has inspired millions of people to care about science and imagine themselves as participants in the scientific process. What a hopeful sign it is to see young girls wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the words, "Forget princess, I want to be an astrophysicist."
As Trevor Noah noted during The Daily Show episode last night (starts at 2:25), the real reason Trump has these rallies is to "get back in front of his loyal crowds and feed of their energy." Noah believes that "Trump supporters are so on board with their dude he can say anything and they'll come along for the ride."
By Katie O'Reilly
Two years ago—long before coal became one of the most dominant and controversial symbols of the 2016 presidential election—Bloomberg Philanthropies approached production company RadicalMedia with the idea of creating a documentary exploring the U.S. coal mining industry. Last spring, they brought on Emmy-nominated director Michael Bonfiglio, tasked with forging a compelling story out of the multitudes of facts, statistics and narratives underlying the declining industry.