The Term "Republican Environmentalist" Is Not an Oxymoron
"[A] Republican environmentalist, historically, is not an endangered species or an oxymoron," writes William K. Reilly, former administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1989-1993), and Chair of the Nicholas Institute's Board of Advisors, in an analysis published in Scientific American.
In September, the Bridge Collaborative and the United Nations Development Programme brought together more than 30 global leaders and experts in New York City to discuss the question: what steps can be taken to accelerate integrated actions for health and environment? Together, the group identified three steps for action, which will be critical to the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
North Carolina GOP Candidates Embrace Climate Change
Several Republican candidates in North Carolina are embracing climate change, saying that humans are playing a role. Congressmen Ted Budd and George Holding made the comments during debates on Spectrum News.
Power-sector Emissions Drop Despite Trump Policies ($)
Carbon emissions tied to U.S. electricity generation have dropped 28 percent since 2005 to a total of 1,744 million metric tons last year — the lowest since 1987 — according to data the U.S. Energy Information Administration posted publicly, reports Greenwire. The nation's power sector continues to march toward meeting and surpassing the goals of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which the Trump administration has moved to water down.
In Executive Order, Gov. Cooper Wants 40 Percent Reduction In Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Gov. Roy Cooper has signed an executive order that directs the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2025. It's a move that some other state and local governments have taken since President Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord. Jennifer Weiss, a senior policy associate with the Climate and Energy Program at Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions told NPR that it "is a realistic goal, but I think it's going to take a lot of work by multiple parties." The order lays out several different ways to reduce greenhouse gases, and it creates a climate change council that is supposed to get input from a wide range of sources like utilities, local governments and business owners.
Cooper Calls for NC to Slash Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order Monday calling on North Carolina to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent in the next seven years. The executive order calls for getting at least 80,000 zero-emission vehicles on the road, improving the efficiency of state buildings so they cut their energy use by 40 percent and working to expand North Carolina's clean energy industries. The 40 percent target is based on the state's 2005 emission levels, and Tim Profeta, director of Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions tells WRAL that it is an ambitious goal, noting that it's more than any other state in the Southeast.
A conference at Duke Kunshan University last week—co-sponsored by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions—focused on China's global investments. The five-day conference addressed how to better understand and plan for China’s vast increase in infrastructure investment abroad, especially for projects that are part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Beyond Fuel Security: Reliability, Resilience and a More Sustainable Future through Grid Flexibility
The White House, federal agencies and some regional grid operators are seeking to boost electric grid reliability and resilience. In Utility Dive, Duke's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions' Kate Konschnik and Jennie Chen write that improving grid flexibility could achieve the aims of fuel security more cost effectively while modernizing and decarbonizing the grid.
After Florence: Duke Faculty Discuss Relief Planning
Hurricane Florence brought much damage to the North Carolina coast and it’s clear that the work of recovery will take years. The expertise of Duke faculty will contribute to that work. A Duke Today story reports on what Duke faculty had to say about major issues, quoting the Nicholas Institute's Martin Doyle and Lauren Patterson who that the state’s dam infrastructure is being “pushed to its limits” by hurricanes such as Florence and 2016’s Matthew. “Climate change matters and it will push the limits of our infrastructure. A warming climate allows more precipitation to be held in the atmosphere, increasing the potential for high intensity precipitation, and appears to create conditions that make ‘stalling’ hurricanes like Florence, and what Texas saw with Harvey, more likely.”