San Diego Passes Strongest City-Wide 100% Clean Energy Law in America
As world leaders return from an historic universal climate agreement in Paris, San Diego has pledged to make major strides in cutting carbon pollution by going all-in on clean energy. Today the city announced it is pledging to get 100 percent of its energy from clean and renewable power with a Climate Action Plan that sets the boldest city-wide clean energy law in the U.S.
With this announcement, San Diego is the largest U.S. city to join the growing trend of cities choosing clean energy. Already, at least 13 U.S. cities, including San Francisco, California; Burlington, Vermont; and Aspen, Colorado, have committed to 100 percent clean energy.
And once again showing that clean energy and climate action isn't just a push from the left: San Diego is led by a Republican Mayor.
“100 percent clean energy is the new standard for climate leadership," said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune. “Local leaders know that going all-in on clean energy will create jobs, boost their economies, and protect clean air, water and our climate."
It's true—clean energy has hit its stride—just look at the stats: Solar prices have fallen 80 percent in recent years, and the solar industry now employing nearly twice as many people as the coal mining industry. And it's easy on your wallet: Stanford scientists say the transition to 100 percent renewable energy will save the average American family $260 dollars per year in energy costs and another $1,500 per year in health care costs.
For locals, the decision is a step in the right direction on climate action. "Passing the Climate Action Plan is a historic marker in San Diego's history," said Lindsey Kang, a 17-year-old high schooler in San Diego. “The CAP matters to me and my generation because after so many years of procrastination, it's about time we take initiative to better the world for me and the future generations. The Climate Action Plan will put us on the right track to improving our air and water quality making it possible for us to keep going to our favorite hangout spots around the area."
Kang is active with the local Sierra Club and her high school's environmental club. “My generation cares enough about the changing climate to take their own action," Kang added. "At my school and schools all over San Diego, we have our own environment clubs dedicated to do what we can do to help make the Earth a better place to live in. Passing the CAP will show students that they're not the only ones in this fight and that the future is changing for the better."
Meanwhile, international leaders are committing to clean energy too. Paris, Sydney and Vancouver have all pledged to power their cities with 100 percent clean energy. At the recent Climate Summit for Local Leaders, held in Paris to coincide with the international climate negotiations, 1,000 mayors signed a declaration to “commit collectively to support ambitious long-term climate goals such as a transition to 100 percent renewable energy in our communities."
During that summit, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo stated, “Mayors of the world are ready for 100 percent renewable energy by 2050."
As 100 percent clean energy becomes the new international standard for climate action, San Diego has become the first city in America to take this ambitious and achievable step with a legally-binding commitment. I can't wait to see all the other U.S. cities who decide to go 100 percent in the coming months and years.
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Wisdom the mōlī, or Laysan albatross, is the oldest wild bird known to science at the age of at least 70. She is also, as of February 1, a new mother.
<div id="dadb2" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="aa2ad8cb566c9b4b6d2df2693669f6f9"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1357796504740761602" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">🚨Cute baby alert! Wisdom's chick has hatched!!! 🐣😍 Wisdom, a mōlī (Laysan albatross) and world’s oldest known, ban… https://t.co/Nco050ztBA</div> — USFWS Pacific Region (@USFWS Pacific Region)<a href="https://twitter.com/USFWSPacific/statuses/1357796504740761602">1612558888.0</a></blockquote></div>
By Hui Hu
Winter is supposed to be the best season for wind power – the winds are stronger, and since air density increases as the temperature drops, more force is pushing on the blades. But winter also comes with a problem: freezing weather.
Comparing rime ice and glaze ice shows how each changes the texture of the blade. Gao, Liu and Hu, 2021, CC BY-ND
Ice buildup changes air flow around the turbine blade, which can slow it down. The top photos show ice forming after 10 minutes at different temperatures in the Wind Research Tunnel. The lower measurements show airflow separation as ice accumulates. Icing Research Tunnel of Iowa State University, CC BY-ND
While traditional investment in the ocean technology sector has been tentative, growth in Israeli maritime innovations has been exponential in the last few years, and environmental concern has come to the forefront.
theDOCK aims to innovate the Israeli maritime sector. Pexels<p>The UN hopes that new investments in ocean science and technology will help turn the tide for the oceans. As such, this year kicked off the <a href="https://www.oceandecade.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)</a> to galvanize massive support for the blue economy.</p><p>According to the World Bank, the blue economy is the "sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem," <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019338255#b0245" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Science Direct</a> reported. It represents this new sector for investments and innovations that work in tandem with the oceans rather than in exploitation of them.</p><p>As recently as Aug. 2020, <a href="https://www.reutersevents.com/sustainability/esg-investors-slow-make-waves-25tn-ocean-economy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Reuters</a> noted that ESG Investors, those looking to invest in opportunities that have a positive impact in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, have been interested in "blue finance" but slow to invest.</p><p>"It is a hugely under-invested economic opportunity that is crucial to the way we have to address living on one planet," Simon Dent, director of blue investments at Mirova Natural Capital, told Reuters.</p><p>Even with slow investment, the blue economy is still expected to expand at twice the rate of the mainstream economy by 2030, Reuters reported. It already contributes $2.5tn a year in economic output, the report noted.</p><p>Current, upward <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/-innovation-blue-economy-2646147405.html" target="_self">shifts in blue economy investments are being driven by innovation</a>, a trend the UN hopes will continue globally for the benefit of all oceans and people.</p><p>In Israel, this push has successfully translated into investment in and innovation of global ports, shipping, logistics and offshore sectors. The "Startup Nation," as Israel is often called, has seen its maritime tech ecosystem grow "significantly" in recent years and expects that growth to "accelerate dramatically," <a href="https://itrade.gov.il/belgium-english/how-israel-is-becoming-a-port-of-call-for-maritime-innovation/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">iTrade</a> reported.</p><p>Driving this wave of momentum has been rising Israeli venture capital hub <a href="https://www.thedockinnovation.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">theDOCK</a>. Founded by Israeli Navy veterans in 2017, theDOCK works with early-stage companies in the maritime space to bring their solutions to market. The hub's pioneering efforts ignited Israel's maritime technology sector, and now, with their new fund, theDOCK is motivating these high-tech solutions to also address ESG criteria.</p><p>"While ESG has always been on theDOCK's agenda, this theme has become even more of a priority," Nir Gartzman, theDOCK's managing partner, told EcoWatch. "80 percent of the startups in our portfolio (for theDOCK's Navigator II fund) will have a primary or secondary contribution to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria."</p><p>In a company presentation, theDOCK called contribution to the ESG agenda a "hot discussion topic" for traditional players in the space and their boards, many of whom are looking to adopt new technologies with a positive impact on the planet. The focus is on reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment, the presentation outlines. As such, theDOCK also explicitly screens candidate investments by ESG criteria as well.</p><p>Within the maritime space, environmental innovations could include measures like increased fuel and energy efficiency, better monitoring of potential pollution sources, improved waste and air emissions management and processing of marine debris/trash into reusable materials, theDOCK's presentation noted.</p>
theDOCK team includes (left to right) Michal Hendel-Sufa, Head of Alliances, Noa Schuman, CMO, Nir Gartzman, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, and Hannan Carmeli, Co-Founder & Managing Partner. Dudu Koren<p>theDOCK's own portfolio includes companies like Orca AI, which uses an intelligent collision avoidance system to reduce the probability of oil or fuel spills, AiDock, which eliminates the use of paper by automating the customs clearance process, and DockTech, which uses depth "crowdsourcing" data to map riverbeds in real-time and optimize cargo loading, thereby reducing trips and fuel usage while also avoiding groundings.</p><p>"Oceans are a big opportunity primarily because they are just that – big!" theDOCK's Chief Marketing Officer Noa Schuman summarized. "As such, the magnitude of their criticality to the global ecosystem, the magnitude of pollution risk and the steps needed to overcome those challenges – are all huge."</p><p>There is hope that this wave of interest and investment in environmentally-positive maritime technologies will accelerate the blue economy and ESG investing even further, in Israel and beyond.</p>
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