Slate: Bernie’s New Climate Change Plan Is an Environmentalist’s Dream, Except for This One Thing
At first glance, Bernie Sanders’ climate plan looks great. It calls for a revenue-neutral carbon price, a 10 million person “clean energy workforce,” a 65 miles per gallon average fuel economy for cars and trucks by 2025, the construction of a nationwide high-speed rail network, a ban on oil drilling offshore and in the Arctic, and a phaseout of subsidies to the fossil fuel industry -- all top items on environmentalists’ wish lists.
But there’s one major flaw in Bernie’s plan: Sanders is calling for a total phaseout of nuclear energy. He would place a moratorium on relicensing of the country’s aging nuclear power plants -- from which we currently get about 20 percent of our electricity. In the U.S., a phaseout of nuclear power would greatly complicate our ability to cut carbon emissions over the next few decades. A recent modeling report by Third Way, a centrist think tank, showed that shuttered American nuclear plants would likely be replaced by natural gas -- increasing net emissions.
Guardian: Africa Plans Renewable Energy Drive That Could Make Continent World's Cleanest
An Africa-wide mega-scale initiative backed by all African heads of state should see the continent greatly increase its renewable energy over the next 15 years.
The African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) plans to develop at least 10 GW of new renewable energy generation capacity by 2020, and at least 300 GW by 2030, potentially making the continent the cleanest in the world.
The initiative, which is tentatively estimated to cost at least $500B over 20 years, is billed as “by Africa, for Africa,” and is intended to reduce Africa’s present reliance on coal. As well as reducing emissions, it will help at least 600 million people switch from lighting homes and cooking with diesel, kerosene and wood, and reduce air pollution in homes and cities.
Dot Earth: Behind the Brackets as Paris Negotiators Shape a Climate Change Deal
Over the weekend, negotiators in Paris produced a slimmer, but still heavily-bracketed final draft of a proposed climate change [accord] [protocol] [agreement] [anything but a treaty] aimed at doing what the first climate treaty, adopted at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, failed to do: curb emissions of greenhouse gases and boost the capacity of poor countries to handle climatic and coastal dangers amplified by warming.
There was quite a bit of celebration around this accomplishment. But when you look at text sections on the most important issues -- mitigation of greenhouse-gas emissions, financial aid for vulnerable countries and any mention of aspects of the deal that might be legally binding -- you encounter not only brackets but, surreally, [[brackets] within brackets].
Inside Climate News: U.S. and Others Want Frequent Emission Checks as Part of Paris Deal
As negotiations for a new worldwide climate agreement move into high gear, the attention is focused not just on how ambitious the treaty’s goals will be, but how urgently the world’s nations will act to make them come true.
The voluntary emission-cutting pledges that more than 180 countries brought to Paris do not offer deep enough reductions to guarantee a safe climate. So many negotiators, supported by climate campaigners, are now trying to get everybody to ratchet up their pledges as soon as possible.
LaCrosse Tribune: Regulators Grant Xcel Increase in Fixed Charge but Trim Request
Wisconsin regulators will allow Xcel Energy to charge more for electricity in 2016 but scaled back the utility’s controversial request to more than double flat monthly fees.
The three-member Wisconsin Public Service Commission on Thursday unanimously approved a 75 percent increase to fixed fees for residential, farm and small commercial customers, who will now pay $14 a month simply to maintain an account.