ICYMI – June 19, 2020
First Up: Good News
Last week we wrapped up our Lobby Camp and this week we’re bringing you the coverage. Check out how are Alliance members and entire community showed up (on NBC no less!).
Gen Z Athletes Band Together To Save The Planet, Pushing For Climate Protection Ahead Of U.S. Elections
“I’m only 20 years old, and all I want to do is help the younger generations stand up for this in the future; to prevent the worst impacts of climate change,” Crouch says.
We all need to take a page out of the Gen Z book. Get reading!
Outdoor Rec Just Got Its Own Stimulus Bill
“We are going to have to rebuild the economy, and this can be a really big part of that,” says Democratic senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, noting that nationally, outdoor recreation contributes $778 billion in consumer spending and supports 5.2 million jobs, yet “our trails and campgrounds aren’t in the shape that they should be, which directly impacts economic activity on public lands and in gateway communities.”
Reelection politics aside, this is a fantastic bipartisan bill that directly supports the outdoors. After years of maintenance backlog, our favorite outdoor escapes will get the love they deserve.
Goldman Sachs says renewable-energy spending will surpass oil and gas for the first time ever in 2021
“The bank projects green-energy spending to pass that of oil and gas for the first time ever next year and account for roughly 25% of all energy spending. The share stood at just 15% in 2014, but a dive in fossil-fuel investing over the past decade shifted more dollars to clean energy initiatives.”
Economic downturns haven’t always been great news for clean energy, but this time around is different. According to Goldman Sachs, the transition to renewable power from traditional fuels will create a $16 trillion investment opportunity through 2030 as spending shifts to new infrastructure. That’s a pretty big shift.
Record Amounts of Clean Energy Installed as Costs Continue to Fall
“As a result, “the chorus of voices calling on governments to use their COVID-19 recovery packages to create sustainable economies is growing,” says Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP. “This research shows that renewable energy is one of the smartest, most cost-effective investments they can make in these packages.
“If governments take advantage of the ever-falling price tag of renewables to put clean energy at the heart of COVID-19 economic recovery, they can take a big step towards a healthy natural world, which is the best insurance policy against global pandemics.”
We mean…mic drop, right? Renewables are getting cheaper, more efficient and just generally out-compete the fossil fuel sector in almost every way. The excuses to not make the move to a renewable energy future are running out!
IEA Unveils $3 Trillion Covid-19 Clean Energy Recovery Plan
“Governments have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reboot their economies and bring a wave of new employment opportunities while accelerating the shift to a more resilient and cleaner energy future,” Dr. Fatih Birol, IEA Executive Director, said in a statement.
“Our Sustainable Recovery Plan provides them with rigorous analysis and clear advice on how to tackle today’s major economic, energy and climate challenges at the same time. The plan is not intended to tell governments what they must do. It seeks to show them what they can do,” Birol noted.”
Despite cost, sustainable recovery plans that center around clean, renewable energy are absolutely possible––and the top agencies are advocating for them. The main policy focuses of the plan include: electricity, transport, industry, buildings, fuels and emerging low-carbon technologies. The goals? Boosting economic growth, creating millions of jobs and putting emissions into structural decline. Seems like a pretty solid plan to us.
Up Last: The Not so Good News
Who is really to blame for climate change?
“Fossil fuel firms clearly play a major role in the climate problem. A major report released in 2017 attributed 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions over the previous two decades to just 100 fossil fuel producers. An update last year outlined the top 20 fossil fuel firms behind a third of emissions.
But it is not only through their ongoing extraction of fossil fuels that these companies have had such a huge impact on climate action. They have also worked hard to shape the public narrative. In 2015, an investigation by US website Inside Climate News revealed that the oil firm Exxon knew about climate change for decades and led efforts to block measures to cut emissions. Revelations like this have contributed to strong public anger at fossil fuels firms. Many now think that such companies have said and done everything they could to be able to continue extracting and burning fossil fuels – no matter the cost.”
Who is really to blame for climate change? Fossil fuel companies and the systems that perpetuate a carbon-based society. So no. It’s not as easy as pointing a finger at a single person, but it is as easy as changing the systems. Which is precisely what we do best.