Public health advocates say Minnesota utility regulators’ decision last month to increase the social cost of carbon will be important for dealing with the negative health impacts of climate change.
Last month a handful of students convinced the Grand Marais city council to adopt a “climate inheritance resolution” that could lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the tiny North Shore hamlet, becoming the second Minnesota community to do so.
With the Trump administration expected to roll back federal climate policy, advocates are hoping states and cities will pick up the slack on reducing carbon emissions. Chicago is often touted as a leader on this front thanks to its solar, energy efficiency and other programs, along with the 2012 closure of two urban power plants and city officials’ action against petroleum coke storage. Now a majority of City Council members and the Chicago chapter of 350.org want the city to make a statement against the fossil fuel industry by pledging to divest the city’s pension funds and stocks and bonds. A divestment resolution was introduced in December, and backers are hoping it will be heard by the full council this spring. The measure would be largely symbolic, since a resolution is non-binding and the state government is in charge of pension investments.
Despite moves at the federal level to cut environmental rules and programs, work is progressing on a major climate change report that will expand on previous research and draw upon state-specific information for Ohio and other states.
While state agencies have recently removed climate change information from their websites, Wisconsin has a long history of being a leader on climate and clean energy research, including by scientists working for government agencies and public universities.
Addressing climate change has become one of the focal points of Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration. Though the state has missed its 2015 goal of reducing greenhouse gases, the governor’s office has created more coordinated leadership to direct agencies on sustainability.
Minnesota-based consultant Michael Burr helps communities across the country develop microgrids and local energy projects to build resiliency.
As political discussions in the U.S. focus on the future of fossil fuel industries, an event in Ohio last week explored a future with no fossil fuels at all.
The advocacy group Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice has for years spearheaded a citywide climate change action plan, trains city residents in clean energy jobs and helps fight for tougher pollution controls on their corporate neighbors — all under the guiding principle: “From the bottom up, by force.”
Nuclear power plants need large amounts of water for cooling. As the lakes and rivers that typically supply cooling water become hotter thanks to climate change — and as droughts dry up some water bodies — nuclear power plants face problems, researchers say.