Fight or adapt to climate change? It’s ‘a false trade-off’ for cities, climate experts say

Read the full story at Smart Cities Dive.

Despite finite resources, cities must adapt to climate change impacts and also continue working to reduce their carbon footprint, city officials and climate adaptation experts said at a Cities Climate Action Summit panel last week. 

“It’s a false trade-off,” said Kit England, senior climate adaptation specialist at consulting firm Paul Watkiss Associates. While it’s likely global warming will exceed1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, he said, every ton of greenhouse gas emissions avoided still lessens future climate change-related costs and impacts.

US cities see ‘urban mining’ potential in building deconstruction

Read the full story from Reuters.

Construction, demolition debris is double municipal waste. Deconstruction saves 350,000 tons a year from landfill. City mandates bolster the growing sector.

Webinar: Re-energizing the ecosystem approach in the 21st century

Jun 15, 2023, noon-1 pm CDT
Register here.

The Canada-U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and the U.S. Clean Water Act, as well as many programs implemented across the Great Lakes region, are grounded in sound principles giving effect to ecosystem-based management. They recognize that healthy lakes are crucial to healthy economies and communities

Since the landmark Agreement and law have been in place, we have witnessed successes such as the reduction of municipal and industrial point source pollution, the slowing of introductions of invasive species, and the delisting of several Great Lakes pollution hotspots. However, many challenges remain. Thus, regional experts recently came together to take stock of what has been learned from historical applications of ecosystem approaches and to identify measurable ecosystem goals, co-produce knowledge, co-innovate solutions, and practice adaptive management until ecosystem goals are met.

The outcome was a set of recommendations on how boundary organizations, actors, and teams can better support and accelerate more strategic, holistic, and partnership-driven efforts, with a primary goal to help re-energize the use of an ecosystem approach in the 21st century to achieve healthy and sustainable Great Lakes, economies, and communities. 

During CGLR’s June webinar, this work will be presented and discussed and feedback from our audience is invited.  Join us for an informative discussion on different aspects of the ecosystem approach, including the history and origin of the ecosystem approach, blue economy, technological advances, Indigenous knowledge systems, science-policy solutions, education, and knowledge mobilization, and human dimensions.

More about the Ecosystem Approach Project:

Plans for I-55 expansion in Chicago raise concerns over air quality and community health

Read the full story from Inside Climate News. See also coverage from the Chicago Sun-Times.

Environmental advocates and community groups already exposed to high levels of air pollution fear that additional lanes will exacerbate health risks in Southwest Side neighborhoods.

Pioneering project helps renters cash in on solar savings

Read the full story from Canary Media.

By cleverly stacking an array of incentives and credits, two nonprofits are helping Minneapolis apartment dwellers slash their power bills by up to one-third.

For safer, greener streets, cities must speed up and fund infrastructure: Report

Read the full story at StreetsBlog NYC.

The city must reform and accelerate the way it builds infrastructure if it has any hope of transforming the streetscape into true public space filled with protected bike lanes, bus lanes, and wider sidewalks, according to a new report by the Regional Plan Association.

An ‘early warning system’ for urban drought is this research team’s goal

Read the full story at Smart Cities Dive.

Four Illinois research institutions announced on Thursday a two-year project that will examine how drought affects urban trees in order to inform how cities nationwide can effectively respond to drier-than-normal conditions made more common in some areas by climate change.

Drought is typically studied in an agricultural context, the researchers said. This project, on the other hand, will “provide useable information for decision makers in charge of urban tree management,” said Trent Ford, who is the state climatologist based at the University of Illinois, in a news release. Other institutions involved with the research are The Morton Arboretum, Argonne National Laboratory and the Prairie Research Institute’s Illinois State Water Survey. 

The project is funded through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Program Office, which supports high-priority climate research regionally, nationally and internationally.

Building with Benefits: Meaningful Benefits as a Foundation for Equitable Community Solar Webinar Series

Join the National Community Solar Partnership as they launch the webinar series, ‘Building with Benefits: Meaningful Benefits as a Foundation for Equitable Community Solar’ to highlight best practices in developing community solar projects and programs that deliver meaningful benefits to subscribers and their communities. The webinars showcase the winners of the 2022 Sunny Awards for Equitable Community Solar and are moderated by a leading industry expert about the unique challenges related to delivering specific meaningful benefits, the best practices their project or program developed to address these challenges, and how their solution can be replicated or scaled.

Biden admin launches $11B program to electrify rural America

Read the full story at E&E News.

The Agriculture Department is kicking off the awards process for nearly $11 billion in funding to electrify and decarbonize rural parts of the United States.

Drawing from two pots of money enacted in the Inflation Reduction Act, the funding is available for a sweeping set of potential projects, from new or retrofitted transmission lines to hydrogen projects to carbon capture. It is the largest single investment in rural electrification since the New Deal, according to the Biden administration.

“This is about renewable energy systems. It’s about zero-emissions systems. It’s about carbon capture systems,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told reporters on a call Monday.

The funding is part of the administration’s strategy to use hundreds of billions of dollars in the IRA and the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure package to achieve its energy and climate objectives. More than $435 billion in private-sector investments has been announced following passage of those laws and the CHIPS and Science Act, the White House says.

SLOPE platform puts clean energy job growth insights into hands of decision makers

Read the full story from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Did you know there is potential for more than 1.6 million new jobs to be created across America by the year 2030 to help build the country’s clean energy future?

Of those 1.6 million jobs, some of the highest rates of job growth can be expected to come from Alaska, Wyoming, and Nevada. The states of California, Florida, and Texas will have the most job potential overall due to higher working-age populations.

Insights such as those are now available through the State and Local Planning for Energy (SLOPE) Platform, a free online energy planning tool developed collaboratively between the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).