19 mayors, thousands of buildings, zero carbon emissions by 2030

August 27, 2018 by  
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A coalition formed by 19 mayors of major U.S. cities including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C. has proposed a plan to ensure that all new buildings be net-zero by 2030. The mayors are part of a group of cities, known as  the C40 , dedicated to climate action. The cities’ initiative is part of a larger plan to make both old and new buildings net-zero by 2050. Related: This revolutionary sustainable community in Atlanta is still thriving 15 years after its founding Net-zero buildings are extremely efficient and powered exclusively by renewable energy sources, often found on-site. Making new buildings net-zero would therefore have a massive impact on cities’ greenhouse gas emissions. Buildings account for over half of greenhouse gas emissions within large cities; for some older cities, such as London and Paris, buildings can account for almost 70 percent. The C40 mayors are committed to lowering these figures. “Ensuring Portland’s old and new buildings achieve net zero carbon use is an essential challenge I am ready to take on,” announced Mayor Ted Wheeler of Portland, Oregon, one of the cities that signed the pledge. “Portland has been a longtime global leader in environmental initiatives and I look forward to continuing to advocate and fight for ambitious environmental strategies.” Related: SOM’s net-zero Paris skyscraper will be one of the most sustainable buildings in Europe The cities will join forces with the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), the organization that set the 2030 benchmark, to achieve their emissions goals. The mayors will meet again as part of the Global Climate Action Summit  in San Francisco. California has taken a strong stand for climate action, with the goal of making all new buildings net-zero by 2020, a decade earlier than the date in the C40 pledge. Many of the cities in the C40 group have pledged to create fossil-fuel-free streets and use zero-emission buses. This latest pledge to make new buildings net-zero is yet another step in the right direction. + WorldGBC Via Curbed

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19 mayors, thousands of buildings, zero carbon emissions by 2030

Four major cities pledge to ban diesel cars by 2025

December 2, 2016 by  
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Air pollution plagues many large cities , and now four major metropolises are taking a stand. At the C40 Mayors Summit ending today in Mexico City, Paris, Madrid, Mexico City, and Athens pledged to ban diesel cars by 2025. They also urged car manufacturers to take action, saying they will provide incentives for their residents to walk, bike, or drive alternatively-fueled cars. Air pollution leads to three million deaths every single year, with most fatalities occurring in cities, according to the World Health Organization. As diesel cars pump out contaminating fumes, the four cities decided to remove those vehicles from their cities. In addition to carbon dioxide, cars emit nitrogen dioxide and tiny particles, worsening air quality especially in congested urban areas. Related: 6 brilliant smog-eating designs ridding cities of air pollution According to The Guardian, it’s not precisely clear if the pledge will include a total ban, or if it will simply ban cars from some areas of the cities, and if so, exactly which areas. But such a move could be especially beneficial for Mexico City, which just this year banned over one million cars in an air pollution crisis. Mexico City mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera said in a statement , “It is no secret that in Mexico City we grapple with the twin problems of air pollution and traffic.” Public transportation , like the subway and bus system, will be expanded, according to the mayor, as will bicycling infrastructure. Athens mayor Giorgos Kaminis indicated he wants to take his city even one step further by removing every car from Athens’ center. Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo challenged the car industry to take pollution as seriously as the four cities. “Today, we…stand up to say we no longer tolerate air pollution and the health problems and deaths it causes – particularly for our most vulnerable citizens,” she said. “Big problems like air pollution require bold action, and we call on car and bus manufacturers to join us.” Via The Guardian Images via Mike Norton on Flickr and Pixabay

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Four major cities pledge to ban diesel cars by 2025

Will Ivanka Trump be liberals climate champion in the White House?

December 2, 2016 by  
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With the announcement that incoming First Lady Melania Trump would be staying in New York rather than moving into the White House in January, there’s been no shortage of speculation about the exact role Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, will take in his administration. Some commentators have written she could be the real “first lady” in all but name . But the most interesting rumor comes in a recent article from Politico, which states that a source close to Ivanka told the outlet that the first daughter would like to use her position to advocate against policies that exacerbate climate change . While the news offers a glimmer of hope for those concerned about the health of our planet under a Trump presidency, some argue that outside of the single article by Politico, we have no evidence that Ivanka cares about climate change at all. One Huffington Post author calls the original reporting “irresponsible,” casting doubt both on the anonymous source and on the complete lack of detail on Ivanka’s beliefs throughout the piece. A quick Google search reveals that she’s never made a public comment on the subject one way or the other. It is true that Ivanka has championed other progressive causes in the past, particularly pay equity and parental leave . So the speculation that she may bring a more moderate viewpoint to the Trump administration is not entirely baseless. On the other hand, she’s also proven to be extremely loyal to her father and family, defending him against charges of misogyny even after recordings were released showing him bragging about sexual assault. Related: Trump wants NASA to stop researching climate change to build a permanent base on the Moon It’s hard to imagine Ivanka breaking rank when Donald Trump has taken such a hard stance against climate change in the past – calling it a Chinese hoax , arguing that the US should pull out of the Paris agreement , nominating a climate denier to head the EPA transition team, and arguing for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. We’ll have to wait and see exactly what happens come January, but environmentalists probably shouldn’t get their hopes up unless Ivanka releases a statement affirming her interest in fighting climate change. Via Politico Images via Michael Vadon and Wikimedia Commons

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Will Ivanka Trump be liberals climate champion in the White House?

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