Why reducing emissions from cars and trucks will be hard – and solutions

by David Keith and Christopher R. Knittel, The Conservation

A growing number of cities, states and countries aim to dramatically reduce or even eliminate carbon emissions to avert catastrophic levels of climate change.

Ideas about how to get this done as soon as possible, including those Democratic lawmakers like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have sketched out in the Green New Deal framework, vary. But most energy experts see two basic steps as essential.

First, stop relying on fossil fuels to generate most electricity. Second, the whole world should – sooner rather than later – use all that cleaner electricity to power transportation, agriculture and the heating and cooling of homes and businesses. The logical goal should be to get as many consumers to buy zero-emission vehicles as quickly as possible, right?

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Tackling consumption to tackle climate change

by Jason Hickel, The Guardian

When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published their latest report in October, the message was stark: if the planet wants to avert dangerous climate breakdown, we need to cut emissions in half by 2030, and hit net zero by the middle of the century.

It would be difficult to overstate how dramatic this trajectory is. It represents a total and rapid reversal of our present direction as a civilization. We’ve built up a global energy infrastructure around fossil fuels over 200 years, and now we need to completely transform it in 30.

The only way to accomplish this feat is with coordinated government action on a massive scale. Proponents of the US’s Green New Deal idea have it right: we need to pump public investment into churning out solar panels, wind turbines and batteries at a historically unprecedented rate, reminiscent of the industrial retooling that enabled the allies to win the second world war.

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