Rocky Mountain Institute study shows renewables are kicking natural gas to the curb

by Steve Hanley, Clean Technica


  • New research from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) shows that renewable energy is leading natural gas as the preferred choice of new electricity generation 
  • The study looks at energy projects from two of America’s largest electricity markets — ERCOT and PJM
  • RMI argues that there should be a shift away from utility monopolies and an embrace of open competition 
  • Over the past two years, there has been a transition away from building new gas fired plants towards more renewable energy projects as they are performing better within electricity markets 
  • Since 2018 the demand for clean energy projects has doubled while gas project demands have been cut in half, leaving over $30 billion worth of gas projects canceled or abandoned 
  • Voting in climate champions will promote federal policies that prioritize clean energy and help appoint the right people into government agencies like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 

Scientists are increasingly warning that to avoid catastrophic impacts from climate change, the world’s governments must implement massive reductions of warming emissions and begin a drawdown of greenhouse gases (GHG) from the atmosphere over the decade ahead.  For a safe and healthy future for all, endorse the Climate-Safe California Platform to implement scalable solutions that can reverse the climate crisis.

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Kamala Harris’ Plan For International Climate Cooperation Could Smooth the Transition From Fossil Fuels

by Aimee Barnes, State of the Planet


  • Senator Kamala Harris’ “Climate Plan for the People” platform during her Presidential campaign highlighted the creation of an international coalition to manage the transition away from fossil fuel production
  • In order to reach the best-case climate scenario as proposed by the Paris Agreement, the world will need to adapt a rapid phaseout of net global carbon dioxide emissions and deep reductions greenhouse gases
  • The GHG emissions contained in present estimates of global fossil fuel reserves equal three times the “carbon budget” and burning these reserves could add up to 2,900 Gt of CO2 to the atmosphere
    •  a third of oil reserves, half of gas reserves, and over 80 percent of current coal reserves globally would need to remain unused from 2010 to 2050 even to meet the less ambitious 2°C target.
  • Many countries around the globe have implemented limits on supplying fossil fuels by banning drilling and oil reserve exploration
  • Canada, Norway, and Spain are some of the countries working towards a just transition of labor for their fossil fuel workers
  • Tackling a managed decline and just transition as a global collective has the potential to be more impactful on managing economic impacts of the transition away from fossil fuels
  • Harris’ climate plan proposed convening major emitters in early 2021, focusing on climate change, the global economy, and a worldwide phase out of fossil fuels
  • Potential declarations and commitments from the plan could be: planning for work force transitions, accelerating away from the fossil fuel economy, the requirement need to reach a 1.5 degree C scenario

Scientists are increasingly warning that to avoid catastrophic impacts from climate change, the world’s governments must implement massive reductions of warming emissions and begin a drawdown of greenhouse gases (GHG) from the atmosphere over the decade ahead.  For a safe and healthy future for all, endorse the Climate-Safe California Platform to implement scalable solutions that can reverse the climate crisis.

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How should California wind down its fossil fuel industry?

by Justin Gerdes, Greentech Media


Though California is a leader in clean energy within the US, it remains the seventh-largest oil-producing state and needs to take action to eliminate the fossil fuel industry.

  • California leads the nation in solar rooftops and electric vehicles and also ranks fifth in installed wind capacity
  • For full fossil fuel phase-out within the state, California needs to push aggressive demand-reductions or else oil from outside of the state will fill the gaps.
    • Measures include reaching the goal of 5 million electric vehicles on the road to lessen drivers’ dependency on gas

“If we don’t stop using it, then that supply is going to get here, even if it’s not produced in-state,” says Elkind, director of Berkeley Law’s climate program

  • The oil and gas industry is one of the Golden State’s most powerful special interest groups, which gives lawmakers pause when it comes to halting oil production
    • The Western States Petroleum Association spent close to $9 million lobbying state policymakers in 2019
  • Lack of federal help is also slowing down the fossil fuel phase-out process
  •  Governor Gavin Newsom has taken initial steps to increase oversight of the oil and gas industry
    • He introduced new leadership after firing the state’s top oil and gas regulator for issuing too many fracking permits
    • However, he has recently approved new drilling sites 
  • The oil industry could be a part of the phase-out process within the state as older workers retire, while younger generations are not quick to fill those employment gaps
    • The industry could also facilitate the introduction of large-scale sequestration efforts

The transition to 100% clean energy is a major step towards achieving The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California Platform.

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Culver City releases study that supports its authority to phase out neighborhood oil drilling

by Gabby Brown, Sierra Club


  • Culver City’s city council released a new report today indicating that the city would have the authority to phase out oil drilling within the next year 
  • Local communities have voiced concern about the negative health impacts of neighborhood drilling, which exposes nearby residents to toxic chemicals and puts them at risk of respiratory illnesses, cancer, nervous system damage, and other health effects
  • The study could be used by the city as the legal basis for phasing out oil wells by January 2021
  • The Inglewood Oil Field surface boundary covers approximately 1,000 acres of land in the Baldwin Hills area of Los Angeles County and represents one of the largest contiguous urban oil fields in the United States and has been in operation since 1925

As we transition to a clean energy economy in California and globally, we must ensure that it is a just transition and that workers and communities dependent on fossil fuel industries are included in a new clean energy economy. 

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Expansion of fossil-fuel vehicle phase-outs moves world one step closer to a climate-safe future 

By Buddy Burch, The Climate Center

In March 2020, we launched an update to the Survey of Global Activity to Phase Out Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Vehicles. This survey, which details leadership and innovation in pursuit of electrifying the transportation sector for a climate-safe future, has been an ongoing effort at The Climate Center. We are thrilled at the readership and the response to the survey, and we will continue to ensure that the document serves as a resource for folks working towards zero-emission transportation. 

Below are  changes identified in this update. First, Egypt, Iceland, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, and Sweden have been added to the list of countries working to phase out ICE vehicles. The report now features major players from Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Northern Africa, and South America, making this a global effort. The “countries” section also features an ongoing discussion within the EU. Countries within this economic bloc are currently discussing whether or not to roll out a ban as a single actor, or if the decision will be made on a county-by-country basis. 

Cities are also expanding their efforts to phase out ICE vehicles. This update to the survey included the addition of Amsterdam, Berlin, Birmingham, Honolulu, Jakarta, Liverpool, Greater Manchester, Medellin, Rio de Janeiro, Rotterdam, Santiago, Santa Monica, Seoul, Warsaw, West Hollywood, Bogotá, Bristol, British Columbia, and New York City as cities taking actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles. In the private sector, we also observed an exciting change in marketing strategies. Most notably, four auto manufacturers (Audi, General Motors, Porsche, and Ford) bought advertisements to showcase their electric cars during the past year’s Super Bowl. The event, which aired with 102.1 million viewers, is an example of a space that holds great potential for creating culture change around consumer preferences. 

The push to electrify transportation will continue as we work together toward net negative emissions by 2030 for a climate-safe future. We welcome your questions and updates as we strive to support speed and scale solutions with the best information available. Future updates to the “Survey on Global Activities to Phase out ICE Vehicles” will be shared at