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Tesla, SolarCity Merger Approved by Shareholders

Energy

Shareholders approved the $2.6 billion bid by Tesla Motors to buy SolarCity, paving the way for the clean energy giant to become a one-stop shop for electric vehicles, rooftop solar and energy storage.

"I think your faith will be rewarded," Elon Musk said after the merger was approved by 85 percent of the company's unaffiliated shareholders.

"We can't do this well if Tesla and SolarCity are different companies, which is why we need to combine and break down the barriers inherent to being separate companies," Musk said in August when Tesla announced it closed the deal with SolarCity. "That they are separate at all, despite similar origins and pursuit of the same overarching goal of sustainable energy, is largely an accident of history. Now that Tesla is ready to scale Powerwall and SolarCity is ready to provide highly differentiated solar, the time has come to bring them together."

Next year, Tesla plans to begin rolling out the $35,000 Model 3 sedan and a new solar roof.

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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."

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Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.

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