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OCTOBER & NOVEMBER 2023

Dear Friends:

We include articles from October and November 2023 with references to Governor Newsom’s trip to China promoting bi-lateral climate deals with China culminating in the APEC Summit.  We give special attention to “UNEP: Production Gap Report” and the US Government’s The Fifth National Climate Assessment.  All eyes in November are riveted on the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 28, in Dubai from November 30 to December 12, 2023.  “Bonne chance" to all who attend.  Let us know how it goes.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Belle, Victoria, Frederique and the Climate Team

 

Links to Articles

California

The Democratic governor is supercharging climate policy and eyeing a future White House run. But critics say some of his constituents could be left behind.

 

By Curtis Alexander

Anybody who has wiped out while surfing knows the power of the ocean, which innovators are now tapping into. As the environmental consequences of conventional energy production have become painfully clear, wave and tidal energy is being recognized worldwide for its potential role in a carbon-free energy future.

 

Just a few weeks after Gov. Gavin Newsom returned from a trip to China that he claimed was focused on tackling the climate crisis, his appointees back home voted to slash financial incentives for rooftop solar power — for the second time.

 

Marin County: Ag and Fire Protection

“Wilderness is for natural processes and natural succession,” said Chad Hanson, research ecologist and director of the John Muir Project, one of four organizations involved in the legal action against the park service. “It’s not supposed to be a managed landscape for tree plantations.”

 

In a very real sense, preservation of agricultural land that’s stewarded with climate-beneficial practices is a form of fire protection. Our agricultural operations and their animals are key to maintaining balance in our grassland ecosystems that, in turn, protect our communities from uncontrolled wildfires.

Lily Verdone, of Petaluma, is executive director of the MALT nonprofit organization

 

Marin Voice:

Are cattle the only culprit for high bacterial counts? Maybe not.

 

US Policy and State Action

This is US Government’s peremptory report on climate technology, impacts, risks and responses. It is a congressionally mandated interagency effort that provides the scientific foundation to support informed decision-making across the United States.

 

If there was ever a time in history to go big on clean energy, that would have been 30 years ago.

But a good second choice would be now.

 

IRA

Oct. 1, 2023, By Robinson Meyer

More than a year after its passage, much about President Biden’s climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act, is working. America is putting in more solar panels than ever before, with installations expected to be up 52 percent compared with last year. The law has helped lock in America’s transition to electric vehicles.

 

IRA Incentives at Work: Barriers

Biden’s plans counted on the highly efficient devices, but steep interest rates and confusion over government incentives have curtailed sales.

The devices can efficiently heat and cool homes, but a slow rollout of federal incentives has hindered sales.

 

Renewables

By Robinson Meyer, September 29, 2023

The government was under-counting renewable investment by 45%.

 

Batteries represent the next chapter in Texas’ evolution because they stabilize the grid in the evening, when energy demand is high and solar generation plummets. Texas has installed 2.5 gigawatts of battery capacity over the last five years — about a quarter of total U.S. battery capacity. Only California has installed more.

 

The decision comes as other projects to build wind farms along the Atlantic Coast have run into trouble.

By Brad Plumer, Reporting from Washington

The Interior Department on Tuesday approved a plan to install up to 176 giant wind turbines off the coast of Virginia, clearing the way for what would be the nation’s largest offshore wind farm yet.

The Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project, to be built by Dominion Energy, is the fifth commercial-scale offshore wind project approved by the Biden administration. If completed, the 2.6-gigawatt wind farm would produce enough electricity to power more than 900,000 homes, without creating any of the carbon dioxide emissions that are heating the planet.

 

Direct Air Capture

The technique is expensive but it could help fight climate change. Backers hope fast growth can bring down costs.

By Brad Plumer, Reporting from Tracy, Calif.

In an open-air warehouse in California’s Central Valley, 40-foot-tall racks hold hundreds of trays filled with a white powder that turns crusty as it absorbs carbon dioxide from the sky. The start-up that built the facility, Heirloom Carbon Technologies, calls it the first commercial plant in the United States to use direct air capture, which involves vacuuming greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Another plant is operating in Iceland, and some scientists say the technique could be crucial for fighting climate change.

 

The idea behind the Icelandic company Carbfix is simple: pack water full of carbon dioxide (literally carbonate it, like a SodaStream) and inject it deep underground into Iceland’s porous basaltic rock. Minerals in the rock dissolve in the water, where they react with the CO2 to become calcium carbonates.

 

Climate Change and Local Government

Getting to Implementation

The Status of Local Climate Action in California

he California Local Government Climate Activity Survey is a first step in providing state and local stakeholders with critical insights on how best to assist local governments in designing and implementing climate solutions that address community needs and ensure mutually beneficial outcomes for the State’s most impacted communities.

 

Funding Shifts in Climate Change

By Ralph Vartabedian, The New York Times Company, Nov. 9, 2023

 

United Nations

The 2023 report finds that governments plan to produce around 110% more fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C, and 69% more than would be consistent with 2°C.

 

Global - from Frederique Couglan, special global reporter

By Dan Farber

Indonesia has the world’s fourth largest population, right after India, China, and the U.S. It has about the same GDP as Spain. Indonesia ranks in the top dozen carbon emitters. It gets relatively [little] attention in the United States. Yet Indonesia’s role in cutting energy emissions is crucial.

 

By Perrine Mouterde, Published on November 2, 2023 (Paris)

Ten countries control more than half of the highest carbon emitting drilling sites in the world. They need to stop granting permits for fossil fuel exploitation if the world is to limit global warming to 1.5°C by the end of the century.

 

By Matthieu Goar, Published on October 16, 2023 (Paris)

Crisis drills were held in two Paris districts on Friday to prepare the city and its residents for extreme heatwaves.

 

The French president’s commitment is worrying specialists, who believe that it focuses solely on numbers, at the expense of protecting biodiversity.

By Perrine Mouterde - (Paris)

 

For many decades, the Antarctic sea ice pack had remained stable, even expanding slightly. Scientists still debate the cause of the shift but many blame global warming.

Le Monde with AFP, Published on September 26, 2023 (Paris)

 

By Frédéric Simon | Euractiv.com - 5 Nov. 2023

A UN-level agreement on the Loss and Damage Fund to compensate vulnerable countries for natural disasters caused by climate change opens the way for higher climate mitigation goals at the upcoming COP28 summit in Dubai, the EU’s climate chief has said.

 

 

 

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