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The good news
Britain sets goal for sweeping emissions reductions
On May 17, Britain announced an ambitious agenda for addressing climate change. The plan sets a target of a 50-percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, surpassing the European Union's (EU) goal of a 20-percent reduction by 2020. The plan will reduce reliance on fossil fuels and support alternative energy, while assisting the manufacturing sector with energy strategies to remain competitive.
Vatican calls for stewardship on climate change
A new report commissioned by the Roman Catholic Church warns of serious risks to humans and vulnerable ecosystems if climate change is not addressed. The report, by an international panel of scientists, calls for "stewardship of a planet blessed with the gift of life," recognizes human causes of global warming -- and appeals for nations to reduce emissions and rapidly transition to renewable energy resources.
UPS prototype trucks slim down
UPS is testing a truck that uses 40 percent less fuel, weighs 1,000 lbs. less than its current truck -- and doesn't need paint. This updated version of the ubiquitous brown van has body panels made of lightweight plastic instead of standard aluminum sheets, and includes a smaller engine and LED lights. The prototype design saves energy since it uses less fuel to manufacture and to operate. UPS is currently road testing five of these new trucks.
Lowe's to offer in-store solar quotes
Starting in July, customers in thirty of Lowe's home improvement stores in California will be able to request solar installation quotes directly from in-store kiosks. The agreement between Lowe's and California-based Sungevity will use satellite imagery to tailor an estimate for the customer's home within 24 hours. The partnership will eventually be expanded to stores in other states.
Reforesting the planet at age 13
Thirteen-year-old Felix Finkbeiner has led the effort to plant one million trees in his native Germany through his non-profit Plant for the Planet. Felix's interest in addressing climate change through reforestation began with a school project when he was nine years old. Now his organization has chapters in more than 130 countries, and he's on a list of most influential 'Green Power' activists, along with the Prince of Wales and Brad Pitt.
Student uses algae to cut auto emissions
A Texas high school student's invention that uses algae to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from car exhaust was honored at the world's largest high school science competition. Param Jaggi's device received a sustainability award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at the International Science and Engineering Fair. He plans to patent and mass-market his $30 device, which can decrease CO2 exhaust levels by 89 percent.
Some other news
Climate scientists speak in code
More clarity and less jargon is needed on climate change, according to a recent meeting of scientists studying Arctic warming. The gathering heard from one researcher about the importance of using plain language to convey climate change urgency. Too often, scientific jargon obscures the message and makes it harder to reach people across cultures and backgrounds.
Plastic bag taxes and bans increasing
It's estimated that consumers worldwide use 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags every year. Plastic bags use petroleum in their manufacture, persist in landfills- and are deadly to sea turtles and other ocean creatures. Now, more communities are taxing or banning the bags altogether. Plastic bag bans or taxes have been implemented in places like Washington, D.C., Oregon, San Francisco, Ireland and Italy.
Kids take action for greener schools
Do you know a fifth- through eighth-grade student looking for a project? The 'Green Squad' website of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) helps students assess the environmental health of their own school through online activities and follow-up tasks with teachers and administrators.
Don't miss the Clean Energy Conference
PennFuture's Clean Energy Conference is a key venue for government officials, public interest organizations and the energy industry to learn about the most up-to-date clean energy markets and policies in Pennsylvania. With over 400 attendees last year and ample time to network, you won’t want to miss this opportunity.
Solar installation workshop
14th Annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Expo
- June 16
- U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
- Contact: Ken Bossong, Sustainable Energy Coalition, 301.270.6477 x 11 or email@example.com
EnergyPath 2011 sustainable energy conference.