Decarbonization Through Electrification in Waterborne Transportation

All modes of transportation are gradually being converted to electric propulsion and this includes watercraft. Driven by ominous increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions the move to decarbonize transportation through electrification is growing and while land and air travel get a lot of well-warranted attention, we also need to decarbonize vehicles that travel on water.  In recent years we have made major strides in electric cars, trucks, and buses as well as electric-powered aviation, but there are even greater opportunities to electrify watercraft because they are not as limited by space and weight as their air and land-based counterparts. Electrification is especially well...

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Banks are Backing Away from Fossil Fuels and Embracing Sustainability

Major banks have been slow to act but it appears as thought they are moving away from dirty energy. Big lending institutions have have pledged to support emissions reductions consistent with the Paris Climate agreement, however, until recently their words have not matched their deeds.   Banks have been involved with sustainability for years and many have set sustainability investment goals. Almost ten years ago Bank of America and Wells Fargo each committed $50 billion for financing sustainable initiatives and green transport. In 2015 Citigroup announced that they would invest 150 billion in sustainability.  Valerie Smith, director of corporate sustainability at...

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Economics Fuel Renewable Energy Growth

Global renewable energy capacity set a record last year and 2021 is expected to be even better.  Renewables are already the fastest-growing source of electricity generation, they currently supply more than a quarter of global electricity production and they are on track to be the largest source of electricity in the world by 2025.   Renewable energy has experienced prodigious growth that has consistently outpaced expectations. A recent Ember and Agora Energiewende report indicates that in Europe renewable energy and wind have almost doubled in the last five years.  Globally, solar installations have tripled in the last decade according to an IHS Markit...

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The Plague Economy: Inequality and the Preoccupation with Growth

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed fault lines that highlight weaknesses in our economic system. Unfettered capitalism imperils biodiversity and endangers the future of civilization. Julia Steinberger echoes these sentiments saying that confronting capitalism is the only way we can "avoid disaster". We will not be able to protect the natural world or combat global warming without changes in corporate governance and more specifically the fiduciary obligation to deliver profits. Even more fundamentally we need to challenge the business ethos that seeks profit at the expense of everything else. Our metrics must reflect the costs and the risks associated with environmental...

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Decarbonization Through Electrification Creates Jobs

There is a positive vision emerging of decarbonization through electrification. This would not only substantially reduce climate change-causing greenhouse gas emissions, but it would also buoy the economy and provide jobs. This pandemic can be a turning point. The coronavirus has already augured a 4-7 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions along with other environmental benefits. Although COVID-19 has decimated the energy sector it will disproportionately enfeeble the fossil fuel industry and embolden renewable energy. The pandemic has already changed the way we work and green stimulus spending could revolutionize our economies.On the afternoon of Thursday, May 28, 2020, experts...

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Energy Job Losses in the US Due to COVID-19

COVID-19 has caused massive energy job losses. Some sectors have been hit harder than others and while many energy jobs will return others may not. Our economies will be decimated by the coronavirus and millions of jobs have disappeared forever, however, there is an upside to this deadly pandemic that bodes well for employment opportunities in some sectors over the long term. This is the worst unemployment situation since the Great Depression. So far 36 million Americans have lost their jobs and according to Fed estimates, a total of 47 million jobs could be lost resulting in an unemployment rate...

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The Economic Opportunities Associated with Carbon Removal

  Technologies that draw-down carbon represent a massive economic opportunity. The global carbon capture and sequestration market is projected to reach USD 8.05 billion by 2021, representing a compounded annual growth rate of 13.6 percent from 2016 to 2021. According to some estimates carbon capture and utilization (CCU)** alone will be a $1 trillion market by 2030. There are numerous co-benefits associated with reducing greenhouse gas emissions in addition to climate mitigation. This includes those that improve health. These health co-benefits could be worth $100 US per tonne of CO2 in high-income countries like the U.S. and Canada. There is...

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Net Economic Gains from Climate Action

Cost is a commonly cited reason for resistance to climate action, however when we factor co-benefits and the real costs of inaction the logic for action is overwhelming  Research shows that when we include reduced death and disease as well as increased technological innovation and other co-benefits, the costs of climate action offer a  net economic benefit. When we add up the costs of action and compare them to the costs of inaction the value equation becomes clear.  The benefits of climate action far outweigh the costs.  This includes $160 trillion dollars worth of savings associated with climate action and...

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The Booming Green Economy: The Number of Renewable Energy Jobs Crush Fossil Fuels

Renewable energy is on the rise and the sun is setting on fossil fuels. The economic dominance of the old energy industry is coming to an end and a new economic powerhouse is gaining ground. Demand for coal has collapsed and oil and gas are sure to follow. Led by renewable energy the green economy now provides many more jobs than the fossil fuel industry.  IRENA reports that there were 11 million people employed in renewable energy last year. The report also says transitioning away from fossil fuels towards renewables makes good economic sense. This includes $160 trillion in savings...

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The Size of the Green Economy and the Growth of Renewable Energy

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reports that there are $160 trillion of savings associated with renewables and other climate actions. Led by renewable energy the green economy is growing by leaps and bounds yet it is still an undervalued opportunity. Clean energy is benefiting from the mutually reinforcing factors of increasing demand and declining costs. Tremendous declines in the price of solar and battery storage make a compelling business case for renewables. Despite resistance from the federal government, the US is seeing a renewable energy boom as states and utilities are setting ambitious clean energy goals. According to an...

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