2030 Climate Challenge Finalists Announced (Ind. Report)
Carbon Leadership Forum
Lever for Change is reporting the five finalist teams that will advance to the next stage of the 2030 Climate Challenge, a $10 million award launched in 2020 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. by 2030.
The Challenge, sponsored by an anonymous donor, will fund proven, data-driven solutions tackling greenhouse gas emissions in the buildings, industry, and/or transportation sectors in communities across the country. The finalists include:
Carbon Leadership Forum / Seattle, Washington --
Building with Biomass: Using Buildings to Sequester Carbon at Gigaton-Scale carbonleadershipforum.org
RMI / Boulder, Colorado --
Scale Zero: Healthy, Zero-Emission, Affordable Housing for All. www.rmi.org
Solar United Neighbors / Washington, District of Columbia --
First Statewide Virtual Power Plant: Equitable Transition to Clean Energy. www.solarunitedneighbors.org World Resources Institute / Washington, District of Columbia --
Turning Point: Driving Climate Action through Southeast Transportation Electrification, www.wri.org World Wildlife Fund / Washington, District of Columbia --
Decarbonizing U.S. Industry with Renewable Thermal Energy. www.worldwildlife.org
Finalist's project details are HERE.
(Source: 2030 Climate Challenge, Website PR, Feb., 2021)
Contact: 2030 Climate Challenge, www.2030climatechallenge.org
Lever for Change, www.leverforchange.org
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Bezos Earth Fund Announces First Major Recipients (Funding Report)
Bezos Earth Fund
Amazon CEO and billionaire Jeff Bezos has announced the first 16 recipients who together will receive a total of $791 million fro Bazo's $10 billion Earth Fund. The recipients are listed in order of funding:
Environmental Defense Fund -- $100 million grant will support work that includes completion and launch of MethaneSAT, a satellite that will not only locate and measure sources of methane pollution around the world, but also provide public access to data that ensures accountability and drives deep reductions of this pollutant. www.edf.org
The Natural Resources Defense Council -- $100 million to advance climate solutions and legislation at the state level, move the needle on policies and programs focused on reducing oil and gas production, protect and restore ecosystems that store carbon (like forests and wetlands), and accelerate sustainable and regenerative agriculture practices. www.nrdc.org
The Nature Conservancy -- $100 million to protect the Emerald Edge forest in the U.S. and Canada. www.nature.org
The World Resources Institute -- $100 million will be doled out over 5 years and will be used to develop a satellite-based monitoring system to advance natural climate solutions around the world. www.wri.org.
The World Wildlife Fund -- $100 million to help protect and restore mangroves, which store carbon and protect coastal communities from the ravages of climate-accelerated weather events www.worldwildlife.org.
ClimateWorks Foundation -- $50 million will be used to drive climate action in the transportation and industrial sectors.www.climateworks.org
The Hive Fund for Climate and Gender Justice -- $43 million over three years to expand grant-making to organizations led by Black, Brown, and Indigenous women and other frontline leaders. www.hivedund.org
The Solutions Project -- $43 million over the next three years to accelerate the transition to 100 pct clean energy and equitable access to healthy air, water, and land. www.thesolutionsproject.org
The Climate + Clean Energy Equity Fund -- $43 million over 3 years to support grassroots organizing to build power and increase participation in our democratic processes. www.theequityfund.org
Salk Institute for Biological Studies -- $30 million to advance efforts to increase the ability of crop plants, such as corn and soybeans, to capture and store atmospheric carbon via their roots in the soil. www.salk.edu
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) -- $15 million over teo years to advocate for updates to the U.S. electrical grid that will speed the amount of wind, solar, and energy storage used in key states. www.ucsusa.org
Rocky Mountain Institute -- $10 million, $8 million of which will go to its carbon-free buildings campaign, which seeks to make all U.S. buildings carbon-free by 2040 by advocating for all-electric new construction and retrofitting existing homes and businesses to reduce their carbon footprint. www.rmi.org
Dream Corps Green For All -- $10 million to continue its work creating a green economy that prioritized low-income communities and people of color.www.thedreamcorp.org.
Eden Reforestation Projects -- $5 million to plant trees and alleviate extreme poverty in three countries.www.edenprojects.org. (Source: Bezos Earth Fund, Release, 16 Nov., 2020)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Bezos Earth Fund, Climate Change,
Apple Aims for Carbon-Neutrality by 2030 (Ind. Report)
In its 2020 Environmental Progress Report
, multinational technology giant Apple announced a 10-year roadmap to reduce emissions by 75 pct by 2030 while developing innovative carbon removal solutions for the remaining 25 pct of its comprehensive footprint.
The company notes it is already carbon neutral for corporate emissions worldwide. By achieving the 2030 goal, the company would have brought its entire carbon footprint to net zero 20 years sooner than IPCC targets.
Apple will implement the following and other measures to meet its carbon-neutral goal:
Invest in renewable energy --
Apple will remain at 100 pct renewable energy for its operations -- focusing on creating new projects and moving its entire supply chain to clean power.
Apple has commitments from over 70 suppliers to use 100 pct renewable energy for Apple production -- equivalent to nearly 8GW in commitments to power the manufacturing of its products. Once completed, these commitments will avoid over 14.3 million metric tpy of carbon emissions .
New and completed projects in Arizona, Oregon, and Illinois bring Apple's renewable capacity for its corporate operations to over 1GW -- equivalent to powering over 150,000 homes a year.
Over 80 pct of the renewable energy that Apple sources for its facilities are now from Apple-created projects, benefiting communities and other businesses.
Expand investments in energy efficiency --
Apple will identify new ways to lower energy use at its corporate facilities and help its supply chain make the same transition. Through a new partnership with Apple, the US-China Green Fund will invest $100 million in accelerated energy efficiency projects for Apple's suppliers.
In 2019, Apple invested in energy efficiency upgrades to over 6.4 million square feet of new and existing buildings, lowering electricity needs by nearly one-fifth and saving the company $27 million.
Carbon removal --
Apple is investing in forests and other nature-based solutions around the world to remove carbon from the atmosphere.
The company has announced a first-of-its-kind carbon solutions fund to invest in the restoration and protection of forests and natural ecosystems globally.
In partnership with Conservation International, the company will invest in new projects, building on learnings from existing work like restoring degraded savannas in Kenya and a vital mangrove ecosystem in Colombia.
Through its work with The Conservation Fund, the World Wildlife Fund, and Conservation International, the company has protected and improved the management of over 1 million acres of forests and natural climate solutions in China, the US, Colombia, and Kenya.
Download Apple's 2020 Environmental Progress Report HERE. (Source: Apple, July, 2020) Contact: Apple, www.apple.com
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Growing Climate Solutions Act calls for USDA to Lead Voluntary Carbon Credit Markets (Reg. & Leg.)
In Washington, the recently tabled Growing Climate Solutions Act, a bipartisan bill seeking to address climate change by placing the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in a leadership role over voluntary carbon credit markets would "break down barriers for farmers and foresters interested in participating in carbon markets so they can be rewarded for climate-smart practices," according to the bill's Senate co-sponsors. While proponents tout the benefits of voluntary conservation practices, critics say the approach will result in limited climate action rather than meaningful change.
The bill creates a certification program at USDA so that farmers and forest landowners can better participate in voluntary carbon credit markets that can help land managers pay for conservation practices, which in turn could help to store carbon in soil, trees, and ecosystem restoration projects.
The bill's lead sponsor, Senator Mike Braun, (R-IN) serving on the Senate Agriculture Committee, is joined by Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), along with Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI.) The American Farm Bureau Federation, National Farmers Union, National Milk Producers Federation, Environmental Defense Fund, World Wildlife Fund, McDonald's, and Microsoft are among the bill's supporters. (Source: Daily Yonder, 7 July, 2020)
More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Credit, USDA, Carbon Credit Market,
Economy Could Lose $10Tn with Business-as-Usual Approach to Climate Change (Ind. Report)
World Wildlife Fund,University of Minnesota
A recently released collaborative report from the University of Minnesota (UMN) and the World Wildlife Fund has found that the global economy stands to lose $10 trillion by 2050 if countries continue to operate under a "business as usual" approach to climate change. The report notes the U.S. will likely be the biggest loser.
Through a combination of applied economics and environmental mapping, the team uses satellite technology to analyze different landscapes and ecosystems around the world. Based on the geographical data, researchers can calculate the landscape's susceptibility to things like carbon storage or erosion and can predict how local economies will be affected by the damage done by climate change.
The study predicts that if countries begin to follow an alternative "global conservation" approach, the U.S economy could gain as much as $11 billion by 2050.
(Source: University of Minnesota, World Wildlife Fund, Minnesota Today, 25 Mar., 2020)
Contact: WWF, Toby Roxburgh, www.worldwildlife.org; University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment, Justin Johnson, Stephn Polasky, (612) 624-6973, www.environment.umn.edu
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Schlumberger Joins Science Based Targets to Cut GHGs (Int'l Report)
Schlumberger, Science Based Targets
In the City of Lights, Schlumberger the world's largest oilfield service company reports it plans redefine is climate change and carbon emissions targets as well as join Science Based Targets, an emission reduction program sponsored by the U.N. Global Compact program, the London-based Carbon Disclosure Project, Washington, D.C.-based World Resources Institute and Switzerland-based World Wildlife Fund by 2021.
According to a company statement, "The energy industry has a key role to play in reducing the effects of climate change. Schlumberger seeks to lead positive, measurable changes in greenhouse gas emissions within the industry to help reduce climate change. The application of our industry-leading environmentally responsible technologies will help drive process efficiency and environmental footprint reduction."
Science Based Targets claims participation from 754 companies around the world.
Under the program, participating companies assess and make their emissions reduction goals that are in line with what climate scientists say is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, a global treaty signed in April 2016 to fight climate change.
(Source: Schlumberger, Oil & Gas, Houston Chronicle, 20 Dec., 2019) Contact: Schlumberger, www.slb.com; Science Based Targets initiative, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.sciencebasedtargets.org
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Starbucks Touts Energy Efficient Green Stores Initiative (Ind. Report)
Seattle-headquartered retail coffee juggernaut Starbucks is touting its new Starbucks Greener Stores Initiative focused on energy efficiency and water stewardship, renewable energy, creating a healthy environment, using responsible materials, water diversion and community engagement. The Greener Stores initiative is expected to save the company $50 million in utilities over the next decade.
Over the next year, Starbucks will develop an accredited program to audit all existing company-operated stores in the US and Canada against the framework criteria.
The framework will be co-developed by leading experts, including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and will be audited and verified by Scientific Certification Systems Global Services.
Starbucks has committed to design, build and operate 10,000 greener stores globally by 2025
In 2001, Starbucks joined with the US Green Building Council to develop the LEED for Retail program. In 2005, Starbucks opened its first LEED-certified store and now operates more than 1500 LEED-certified stores across 20 countries. (Source: Starbucks, Global Coffee Report, Sept., 2018) Contact: Starbucks, www.corporate-office-headquarters.com/starbucks
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