Climate & Energy

Fast facts about cities, climate change, and sustainability

Less than 1: Percent of the earth’s surface covered by cities (1) 75: Percent of global energy consumed by cities (2) 80: Percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions contributed by cities (1) 6.7 billion: World population in 2007 (3) 50: Percent of world population expected to live in urban areas by the end of 2008 (3) 70: Percent of world population expected to live in urban areas by 2050 (3) 840: Mayors who have signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement (4) 50: States from which those signatories hail (4) 80 million: Citizens those signatories represent (4) 3: Actions those signatories …

The carbon lobby is big enough already

Carbon trading creates perverse incentives

I've said before that one problem with greenhouse-gas emissions trading (as opposed to a carbon price) is that it creates a whole new lobby with incentives to build the emissions market at the expense of actual emissions reductions. Speaking at the Carbon Expo trade fair in Cologne, Germany, Ken Newcombe, a pioneering carbon trader who currently works for Goldman Sachs provided an example:

McCain speech reactions

Enviros respond to McCain’s new climate plan

John McCain unveiled his plans to address global warming in a speech Monday afternoon in Portland, Ore. The candidate called climate change a “test of foresight, of political courage, and of the unselfish concern that one generation owes to the next,” and called for a cap-and-trade system to drastically reduce the country’s greenhouse-gas emissions. John McCain. Photo: Matthew Chastain Wright “Whether we call it ‘climate change’ or ‘global warming,’ in the end we’re all left with the same set of facts,” McCain told an audience gathered at a Vestas wind-energy training facility. “The facts of global warming demand our urgent …

Speech, speech

Text of McCain climate speech

Here's text of the climate speech GOP presidential candidate John McCain gave today in Portland, Ore., his most major address on the issue to date. ----- Thank you all very much. I appreciate the hospitality of Vestas Wind Technology. Today is a kind of test run for the company. They've got wind technicians here, wind studies, and all these wind turbines, but there's no wind. So now I know why they asked me to come give a speech. Every day, when there are no reporters and cameras around to draw attention to it, this company and others like it are doing important work. And what we see here is just a glimpse of much bigger things to come. Wind power is one of many alternative energy sources that are changing our economy for the better. And one day they will change our economy forever. Wind is a clean and predictable source of energy, and about as renewable as anything on earth. Along with solar power, fuel-cell technology, cleaner burning fuels and other new energy sources, wind power will bring America closer to energy independence. Our economy depends upon clean and affordable alternatives to fossil fuels, and so, in many ways, does our security. A large share of the world's oil reserves is controlled by foreign powers that do not have our interests at heart. And as our reliance on oil passes away, their power will vanish with it.

'There's a better way'

New McCain climate ad aimed at independent voters

John McCain released a new television advertisement today to accompany his big climate policy speech in Portland, Ore., this afternoon. Here’s the ad: The ad illustrates McCain’s attempts to appeal to independents; climate change is a key area where he believes he can make inroads with voters outside the Republican party. Note these lines in particular: “One extreme thinks high taxes and crippling regulation is the solution. Another denies the problem even exists. There’s a better way.” According to the official release from his campaign, the ad “will air in the important battleground state of Oregon.”

McCain's climate plan

Republican candidate’s climate proposals better than expected but still behind the curve

On Monday, John McCain will deliver a speech on climate change from Portland, Oregon. In it he will lay out the framework for climate policy under a McCain administration. After a primary spent shoring up his credentials among the Republican base, this is the beginning of his general election strategy: Operation I’m Not Bush. (One important note: the speech is not on energy. McCain will be delivering a major speech on energy in a few weeks, probably early June, wherein he will lay out specific thoughts and policies on coal, nuclear power, renewables, etc. Today is all about climate policy.) …

McCain to unveil new climate plan

GOP presidential candidate John McCain is slated to unveil his plans to address global warming in a speech Monday afternoon in Portland, Ore., where he’ll call climate change a “test of foresight, of political courage, and of the unselfish concern that one generation owes to the next.” McCain will lay out a series of goals for gradually reducing carbon emissions to 60 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2050. He’s poised to reiterate his call for a cap-and-trade system, but with expansive leeway for polluting companies to buy carbon offsets instead of reducing their own emissions. He’ll also talk …

What should Obama do in West Virginia and Kentucky?

Learning from the gas tax episode, Obama could treat rural whites like adults

Though the nation’s pundits have decided that the primary race is over, someone failed to get Clinton the memo — she is determined to stay in to the bitter end. The next primaries are in West Virginia and Kentucky, states where the number of poor whites is high and consequently the Obama campaign expects to get crushed; there’s a good chance that even if Clinton dropped out tomorrow, she’d still beat Obama in those states. West Virginia and Kentucky are the second and third highest coal-producing states. They have, respectively, the highest and second-highest number of people employed by the …

McCain to endorse Lieberman-Warner?

Candidate tips his hand at New Jersey event

In his remarks in Jersey City, N.J., on Friday, GOP presidential contender John McCain appeared to offer an off-handed endorsement of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act. “I hope it will pass,” he told the crowd, “and I hope the entire Congress will join in supporting it and the president of the United States would sign it.” While he’s offered tepid support for the bill before, he’s hesitated to fully endorse it and has suggested that he’d like to see more subsidies for nuclear energy. Swampland’s Eric Pooley got McCain’s traveling press secretary on the phone for follow up; she suggested …

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