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Top Climate Stories of 2013 – #2 Sunny Outlook for Clean Energy

December 30, 2013 | 9:00 am |

#2 Sunny Outlook for Clean Energy In a year when the reality of climate change became even clearer, so did the practical path to solving it. Renewables as a percentage of overall power sources are growing—fast. Between 2000—2012, wind generated electricity grew over 2,400 percent while solar grew over 800 percent (full figures for 2013 are not yet available, but monthly numbers point to another year of continued growth).[PDF] Already, the U.S. solar industry is installing a new system every four minutes and, if current growth rates continue, will be installing a new system every 90 seconds by 2016. Costs are … Read More

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Top Climate Stories of 2013 – #3 The Social Cost of Carbon Rises

December 29, 2013 | 9:00 am |

For years, the federal government has measured the economic impact of carbon pollution with a figure known as the social cost of carbon (SCC). The SCC gives an estimate of the economic damage produced by a single metric ton of carbon pollution, through its contribution to increased extreme weather events, health impacts, declining agricultural productivity, among others. The government then uses this number to help determine the social benefits of projects and programs that reduce carbon emissions. In 2013, the Obama Administration announced it was revising the SCC up to $37/ton for 2015. The move makes sense: after all, with … Read More

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Top Climate Stories of 2013 – #4 China implementing pilot cap-and-trade programs

December 27, 2013 | 9:00 am |

#4 China implementing pilot cap-and-trade programs With both the world’s largest population and highest levels of carbon pollution, China has the most to lose from a changing climate and the most to do to address it. Reassuringly, the Chinese leadership sees this threat and has initiated a pilot cap-and-trade program to curb carbon pollution in seven different regions and cities. The country aims to follow the limited program with a nationwide strategy by around 2016. What’s in store for 2014? Subscribe to our email updates to stay in the loop. MORE TOP CLIMATE STORIES FROM 2013

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2013′s Top Climate Stories: #5 New leadership in Australia dismantling climate change legislation

December 26, 2013 | 9:00 am |

#5 New leadership in Australia dismantling climate change legislation Meanwhile, Down Under, it’s been a case of one step forward, two steps back for the climate in 2013. After introducing a landmark carbon tax to global acclaim in July 2012, the Australian government began steps to repeal the measure this fall and dismantle its commitments to emissions reduction following the election of Tony Abbot as prime minister. These moves came even as the first eight months of the tax saw a 6 percent decline in emissions from the power plant sector primarily affected, coupled with a 25 percent growth in … Read More

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Top Climate Stories of 2013: #6 I’m Here to Say We Need to Act

December 25, 2013 | 9:00 am |

#6 “I’m Here to Say We Need to Act” Some generations remember where they were when they heard the news of JFK’s assassination or the fall of the Berlin Wall. Here at Climate Reality, we’ll remember where we were when we heard a sitting U.S. president formally announce solving climate change as a national priority and say, “As a president, as a father, and as an American, I’m here to say we need to act.” We couldn’t agree more. As the president laid it out under a sweltering July sun, the Climate Action Plan outlined four key steps for the … Read More

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Top Climate Stories of 2013 – #7 U.S. and China reach agreement on reducing HFCs

December 24, 2013 | 9:00 am |

#7 U.S. and China reach agreement on reducing HFCs Carbon pollution is the main driver behind climate change, but it’s not the only one. Other gases like hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) may not pollute the atmosphere to the same degree as carbon dioxide, but retain significantly more heat energy, making them a potent threat to climate stability. Recognizing this threat, U.S. President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping forged a new historic agreement this summer that outlines critical steps both nations will take to phase out use of HFCs. File under Great News. What’s in store for 2014? Subscribe to our email updates to … Read More

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Top Climate Stories of 2013 – #8 Closing the Door on Coal

December 22, 2013 | 9:00 am |

#8 Closing the Door on Coal This summer, the U.S., U.K., and World Bank Group announced they would restrict funding for new coal-fired power plants overseas. The changes are part of an effort to fight carbon pollution by fostering a global shift toward low-carbon energy alternatives. The World Bank Group policy maintains provisions to support new coal facilities as a last resort in developing nations where no sustainable alternative exists. What’s in store for 2014? Subscribe to our email updates to stay in the loop. More top climate stories from 2013  

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Top Climate Stories of 2013 – #9 Science Speaks Up

December 20, 2013 | 9:00 am |

#9 Science Speaks Up This September, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a group of more than 800 experts representing 85 nations, released the first part of its fifth assessment report (known in the field as AR5). Behind the abundant acronyms, the report summarized what the world’s leading climate scientists know about climate change, and the verdict was unequivocal: scientists are more certain than ever that greenhouse gases from human activity is the primary driver of climate change. Ninety-five percent certain, to be exact. Or to put it another way, scientists are as certain that human activity is causing … Read More

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Top Climate Stories of 2013: #10 More Weather on Steroids

December 19, 2013 | 1:36 pm |

10. More Weather on Steroids In 2013, extreme weather events picked up right where they left off in 2012, and the resulting picture wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t just Super Typhoon Haiyan leveling the city of Tacloban and other communities in the Philippines, leaving hundreds of thousands homeless and struggling to find food and water. It wasn’t just the 500-year floods inundating the cobbled streets and historic buildings of centuries-old towns in Germany, Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. Or the biblical rains—and infernal floods—that rewrote the map and destroyed thousands of homes in Colorado’s Front Range. Or another year of record-breaking temperatures in … Read More

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Top Climate Stories of 2013: The Good, the Bad, & the Dirty

December 18, 2013 | 3:29 pm |

As the year ends and our climate continues to shift, we wanted to pause and reflect upon the top stories in climate change during 2013. There were certainly trying times –weather catastrophes, record high levels of carbon in our atmosphere, and major setbacks in government policies. But we also saw many rays of hope – including action on climate in the US, a rise in clean energy output, and steps forward by one of the world’s biggest polluters. From now until December 31st, we’ll be listing 10 of the top climate stories from 2013 to remember tragedies, reflect on some … Read More

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