It’s great the three biggest climate change problem countries are finally committing to emissions reductions and other substantial changes, although not enough to, you know, stop global warming from getting even worse. Meanwhile, CO2 emissions did not increase from 2013 to 2014, even though the global economy grew, and this was largely because of renewable energy deployment in China. That’s right: China is actually leading the way faster on climate change than it is promising to do. And the old fake excuse that we need fossil fuels for economic growth is busted. Oh, and Georgia is leading the U.S.!
Chris Mooney and Steven Mufson, Washington Post, 30 June 2015, In a major moment for climate policy, China, Brazil, and the U.S. all announce new commitments,
President Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, leaders of the Western Hemisphere’s two most populous countries, released a statement Tuesday pledging each country to get 20 percent of its electricity by 2030 from renewable sources, not including hydropower. In addition, Brazil pledged to restore 12 million hectares, or 46,332 square miles, of its forests — about the size of England — by 2030 while it also pursues “policies aimed at eliminating illegal deforestation.”
Also on Tuesday, China extended and solidified climate commitments made in November by releasing its own emissions reduction target in anticipation of the United Nations’ climate meeting in Paris in late 2015. The world’s largest emitter pledged to reduce the amount of carbon emitted relative to the size of its economy by 60 to 65 percent by 2030, building on cuts already made and in line with a prior agreement with the United States.
Catherine Brahic, New Scientist, 13 March 2015, CO2 emissions may have stalled in 2014 — why?
Carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector plateaued in 2014, according to preliminary figures from the International Energy Agency.
If the figures are confirmed in June, it will be the first time in 40 years that the rise in emissions has stalled in the absence of a financial crisis.
The IEA announced today that global emissions from energy generation in 2014 were 32.3 billion tonnes of carbon, the same as in 2013….
In its statement, the IEA says: “The preliminary IEA data suggest that efforts to mitigate climate change may be having a more pronounced effect on emissions than had previously been thought.”
It says the stall is due to changing energy consumption patterns in China and the influential countries from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. For example, it points out that the use of renewable energy sources like hydropower, solar and wind are on the rise in China, and coal is in decline.
And China did even better this year, as previously written up here: China reduced CO2 emissions by 8% in 4 months. How? Less coal, more water, wind, and increasingly solar power.
It’s not just China. Meg Mirshak, Augusta Chronicle, 30 June 2015, Georgia led states in clean energy jobs during first quarter, according to report,
Georgia’s booming solar industry led to its rank as the No. 1 job creator in the clean energy industry during the first quarter of 2015, according to a report released Tuesday.
Projects across the state totaled 2,870 job announcements, nearly 1,000 more than California, which is second, and 1,200 more than third-place Texas. The report was compiled by Environmental Entrepreneurs, a nonpartisan group of business leaders and investors that promotes environmental policies.
Jeff Benzak, a spokesman for Environmental Entrepreneurs, said Georgia hasn’t ranked in the top 10 states since the group started the ranking in 2012. California and Texas normally lead the list, he said.
Forty clean energy or clean transportation projects were announced in 19 states, creating more than 9,800 direct jobs, according to the group’s job tracking analysis. The solar industry was the top sector for job growth.
“Largely due to a big spike in solar projects, this number is almost double the number of jobs tracked during the corresponding quarter in 2014, and roughly equivalent to the fourth quarter 2014,” the report says.
Which would you rather be, Georgia? Number 1 in most adults in the state incarceration system to the tune of a billion bucks a year? Yet another sucker for an unnecessary, destructive, and hazardous fracked methane pipeline? Or leading the nation in the fastest growing industry in the world, solar power?