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Cities taking action, learning from each other to adapt to climate change

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Cities taking action, learning from each other to adapt to climate change

News Published 27 Feb 2017 Last modified 08 Mar 2017
Despite budgetary challenges, cities and towns across Europe are taking action to put in place measures that will help them adapt to the impacts of climate change. A new European Environment Agency (EEA) report released today highlights the opportunities open to municipalities to share best practices and how they can support projects like green roofs or expanding city parks to help alleviate the negative effects of climate change.

Image © Areal picture: Mathias Friedel, vision: Triebhaus Landschaftsarchitekten Hamburg, montage: Rolf Kuchling

The EEA report “Financing urban adaptation to climate change,” takes a closer look at innovative funding options now being used, such as green bonds and crowdfunding, alongside traditional funding channels. The report includes case studies that analyse how 11 cities across Europe are developing, funding and implementing urban adaptation measures. The case studies outline various projects that will help cities better protect themselves from the damage caused by extreme weather events. These include building more green spaces and installing green roofs, which enhance water retention and provide cooling as well as thermal insulation.

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7 Crazy Things That Are Going To Happen As Sea Levels Rise

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Headline: 7 Crazy Things That Are Going To Happen As Sea Levels Rise

 

Meta: Sea levels are currently rising, and that’s not good. But what exactly is going to happen. Here are 7 crazy things.

 

H1: 7 Crazy Things That Are Going To Happen As Sea Levels Rise

 

 

In the movie The Day After Tomorrow, the entire earth is struck by a catastrophic weather pattern that causes a massive rise in sea levels and ushers in a new ice age. It’s a pretty cheesy movie that is high on special effects and low on quality acting.

 

How likely is an event like that? Will we be struck by some sort of rogue storm that transforms the face of the planet?

 

Probably not.

 

But we do know that sea levels are rising and it certainly is changing the face of the earth. Although it’s happening at a much slower rate, the long term effects will be incredibly devastating.

 

In this post we’re going to explain why sea levels are rising, what will happen as a result, and how cities are preparing for it.

 

Why Are Sea Levels Rising?

 

London_4C.jpg

City of London. Image Via

 

There isn’t much doubt that sea levels are rising. From 1880 - 2009, the global sea level rose approximately 8 inches. That means that all the oceans are now approximately 8 inches higher now than they were 150 years ago.

 

Even more frightening, the average annual rate of the global rise dramatically increased from 1993 - 2008, up 65 - 90 percent over the previous years. The waters are rising faster, with the U.S. East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico increasing the fastest.

 

But why is this happening? Several reasons:

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Trump and Climate Catastrophe

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Trump and Climate Catastrophe

Trump Digs Coal

Photo Credit: BBC, Getty Images.

John Bellamy Foster is the editor of MR and a professor of sociology at the University of Oregon. He is coauthor, with Paul Burkett, of Marx and the Earth (Haymarket, 2017).
This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps, and our GW scientists are stuck in ice.

Donald Trump, January 2, 20141

The alarm bells are ringing. The climate-change denialism of the Trump administration, coupled with its goal of maximizing fossil-fuel extraction and consumption at all costs, constitutes, in the words of Noam Chomsky, “almost a death knell for the human species.” As noted climatologist Michael E. Mann has declared, “I fear that this may be game over for the climate.”2

The effects of the failure to mitigate global warming will not of course come all at once, and will not affect all regions and populations equally. But just a few years of inaction in the immediate future could lock in dangerous climate change that would be irreversible for the next ten thousand years.3 It is feared that once the climatic point of no return—usually seen as a 2°C increase in global average temperatures—is reached, positive-feedback mechanisms will set in, accelerating warming trends and leading, in the words of James Hansen, former director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the foremost U.S. climate scientist, to “a dynamic situation that is out of [human] control,” propelling the world toward the 4°C (or even higher) future that is thought by scientists to portend the end of civilization, in the sense of organized human society.4

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America Doesn’t Have to Choose Between the Economy and the Climate

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America Doesn’t Have to Choose Between the Economy and the Climate

by Helen Mountford Helen Mountford and Joel Jaeger - March 06, 2017

Solar panels at Curtis H. Stanton Energy Cente

Solar panels at Curtis H. Stanton Energy Center. Photo by OUC Reliable One/Wikimedia Commons

This post is part of WRI’s blog series, The Trump Administration. The series analyzes policies and actions by the administration and their implications for climate change, energy, economics and more.

New EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt recently said “I believe that we as a nation can be both pro-energy and jobs, and pro-environment. We don’t have to choose between the two.” While we don’t always see eye to eye with Mr. Pruitt, on this one we have common ground.

For many years, we’ve heard that economic growth and environmental protection are in conflict. However, there is growing and compelling evidence that this simply is not the case: A strong economy and a healthy environment are not only complementary, but each depends on the other.

The Economic Case for Climate Action

The negative economic impacts of environmental damage are becoming clearer. Risky Business, a project founded by Mike Bloomberg, Hank Paulson and Tom Steyer, has mapped the potential costs of climate change, finding that states like Missouri and Illinois risk up to a 70 percent decline in average annual crop yields by the end of the century due to rising temperatures. Billions of dollars of property in states like Florida and California will likely be underwater by midcentury. And it is not just climate change that poses a cost to our economy and our communities. Nationwide, the health impacts of air pollution are estimated to be equivalent to 4 percent of GDP each year. By acting now, we can avoid increasing costs down the road.

But it’s not just about preventing risks. Climate action can actively benefit the economy, according to new work from the New Climate Economy. The key drivers of economic growth – resource efficiency, infrastructure investment and innovation – can be harnessed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a logical connection: a more efficient economy is a more productive economy, and a more efficient economy also emits less carbon.

The economic case for climate action is only becoming stronger as time goes on and the costs of clean energy and other technologies continue to drop. Since 2008, the cost of utility-scale solar energy in the United States has fallen 64 percent and the cost of wind energy has fallen 41 percent, making them increasingly cost-competitive with traditional fossil fuel power, even without subsidies. Even without considering the air pollution and climate benefits, clean energy makes economic sense.

The US Is Decoupling Economic Growth from Carbon Emissions

Many U.S. states are already proving that it is possible to have a strong economy and a strong environment. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia expanded their economies while reducing energy-related carbon emissions from 2000 to 2014, according to Brookings. This includes red states like Kentucky, Alaska and Georgia, as well as blue states like California, New York and Massachusetts. This is an economic issue, not a political one.

As a whole, from 2000 to 2015, the United States grew its GDP by 30 percent while reducing its energy-related emissions by 10 percent.


Source: Brookings
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Can the United States Achieve a Low Carbon Economy by 2050?

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EESI - Environmental and Energy Study Institute

Can the United States Achieve a Low Carbon Economy by 2050?

Thursday, March 9
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Room G11 – Dirksen Senate Office Building
Constitution Avenue and 1st Street, NE

A live webcast will be streamed at 2:00 PM EST at www.eesi.org/livecast (wireless connection permitting)

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) invites you to a briefing showcasing two new reports on how to transition the United States toward a low carbon economy. The reports, From Risk to Return: Investing in a Clean Energy Economy and the United States Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization, present a range of pathways that can achieve deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions between now and 2050. These pathways involve mixtures of: energy efficiency, renewable energy, nuclear power, carbon capture and storage, increased carbon sequestration in U.S. lands, and reductions in non-CO2 emissions. These pathways rely on commercial or near-commercial technologies that American companies are adopting and developing. The briefing will explore how deeper investment in clean energy can yield long-term dividends for the American economy.

In a low carbon economy, total electricity generation could double between now and 2050, presenting a prime opportunity to reap the benefits of investing in clean energy. An average of $320 billion a year in additional private sector investment would be needed between now and mid-century to reduce total energy sector CO2 emissions by 80 percent by 2050. This bold step forward could in turn yield an average of over $360 billion in annual savings from reduced spending on fossil fuels.

Karl Hausker has worked for 30 years in the fields of climate change, energy, and environment in a career that has spanned the federal government, research institutions, NGOs, and consulting. Much of his work has focused on the energy and transportation sectors and on low carbon, resilient development strategies.

At WRI's U.S. Climate Initiative, Noah Kaufman focuses on carbon pricing and other market-based climate solutions. He has previously served as Deputy Associate Director of Energy & Climate Change at the White House Council on Environmental Quality and as a Senior Consultant at NERA Economic Consulting.

This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to expedite check-in.

 


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