100+ Cities Now Powered by at Least 70% Renewables
More than 100 cities around the world now get at least 70 percent of their electricity from renewable sources such solar, wind, geothermal and hydropower, according to new research from the non-profit CDP. That's more than double the 40 cities reporting they were powered by at least 70 percent clean energy in 2015.
The list includes large cities with dense populations such as Auckland, New Zealand; Nairobi, Kenya; Oslo, Norway; Seattle, USA; and Vancouver, Canada.
100+ cities worldwide now source over 70% of their electricity from renewables. Explore which cities are leading th… https://t.co/bByM14TvfS— CDP (@CDP)1519724721.0
Impressively, a remarkable 43 cities, including Burlington, Vermont; Reykjavik, Iceland; and Basel, Switzerland, are running on 100 percent renewables.
Burlington—Vermont's largest city, with a population of 42,000 people—became the first U.S. city to run entirely on renewable electricity back in 2015. The city gets all of its electricity from wind, solar, biomass and hydropower and even has its own utility and citywide grid.
"We have seen first-hand that renewable energy boosts our local economy and creates a healthier place to work, live and raise a family," Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger said. "We encourage other cities around the globe to follow our innovative path as we all work toward a more sustainable energy future."
CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, holds energy information on more than 570 of the world's cities. The research was released ahead of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change conference in Edmonton, Canada on March 5, where city governments and scientific leaders will meet on the role of cities in tackling
As Trump Neglects Climate Threats, Cities Move Forward https://t.co/YnPifJBSp0 #ClimateChange @NRDC @UCSUSA… https://t.co/VfFc2cMVIc— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1519142429.0
And with some 275 cities now reporting the use of hydropower, 189 generating electricity from wind and 184 using solar photovoltaics, CDP expects to see more cities around the globe join this important movement.
The CDP said that much of the drive behind city climate action and reporting comes from the 7,000-plus mayors that signed up to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy and have pledged to act on climate change.
"Cities are responsible for 70 percent of energy-related CO2 emissions and there is immense potential for them to lead on building a sustainable economy," said Kyra Appleby, director of cities at CDP.
"Reassuringly, our data shows much commitment and ambition. Cities not only want to shift to renewable energy but, most importantly—they can. We urge all cities to disclose to us, work together to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and prioritize the development of ambitious renewable energy procurement strategies. The time to act is now."
You can find CDP's complete list below and learn more about the project here.
Alcaldía de Córdoba, Venezuela
Angra dos Reis, Brazil
Auckland , New Zealand
Bærum Kommune, Norway
Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Bogotá , Colombia
Campos de Goytacazes, Brazil
Caxias do Sul, Brazil
Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania
Estância Climática de São Bento do Sapucaí, Brazil
Estância Hidromineral de Águas de São Pedro, Brazil
Estância Turística de Guaratinguetá, Brazil
Estância Turística de ITU, Brazil
Gladsaxe Kommune, Denmark
Inje , South Korea
Jaboatão dos Guararapes, Brazil
Kapiti Coast , New Zealand
León de los Aldamas, Mexico
Montes Claros, Brazil
North Vancouver, Canada
Nova Odessa, Brazil
Prince George, BC, Canada
Santiago de Cali, Colombia
São Caetano, Brazil
São Gonçalo, Brazil
São João da Boa Vista, Brazil
São José do Rio Preto, Brazil
São José dos Campos, Brazil
Stadt Zürich, Switzerland
Wellington, New Zealand
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By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
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