climate action alerts

A regional resource for climate advocates
December 28, 2022
Help us bring 2022 to a close and ring in the New Year!

As the year comes to an endwe reflect on our work to support climate action, renewable energy, building decarbonization, nature-based solutions, and climate justice. With your support, we have collaborated with coalition partners, businesses, public officials, and citizens to underscore the urgency of climate action and ensure that our region will hit the climate ground running in 2023.






Feature Story
The Climate Changed Fast This Year, and Institutions Responded
2022 saw record heat and floods around the globe, but also, at last, major legislation in this country.
By Bill McKibben, The New Yorker, Dec 20, 2022 | Image Aamir Qureshi / AFP / Getty

IT’S THE WORLD’S MOST IMPORTANT CLIMATE GOAL: limiting the Earth’s warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit). It’s the aspiration of global agreements, and to inhabitants of some small island nations, the marker of whether their homes will continue to exist.

Keeping warming this low will help save the world’s coral reefs, preserve the Arctic’s protective sea ice layer and could avoid further destabilizing Antarctica and Greenland, staving off dramatic sea level rise.

It should come as no real surprise, then, that there was havoc across much of the planet in the months that followed. Read more.
Across the Region & Commonwealth
Gov.-elect Healey taps EPA's Melissa Hoffer as state's first climate chief
By Miriam Wasser, WBUR, December 19, 2022 } Image: Joseph Prezioso

Gov.-elect Maura Healey announced Monday that she'll appoint Melissa Hoffer to become the state's first "climate chief." Hoffer currently serves as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's principal deputy general.

According to the Healey administration, Massachusetts is the first state in the country to establish a cabinet-level "climate chief" position like this. In this job, Hoffer will be responsible for overseeing climate policy across every state agency and "ensuring that climate change is considered in all relevant decision-making," according to Healey's team. Read more.
Healey committed to equitable clean energy transition
By Alison Kuznitz, MassLive, Dec 5, 2022 Image: Boston Globe

As Gov.-elect Maura Healey doubles down on climate resiliency goals and a clean energy future, the incoming administration intends to pave an equitable transition away from fossil fuels, a top transition official said Monday.

Gina McCarthy, co-chair of Healey’s “Climate Readiness, Resiliency and Adaption” transition policy committee, said the incoming governor wants to develop affordable climate plans that will not leave out or harm marginalized communities. Read more.
EPA Extends Timeline For Study Of Base Gun Range Impact
By Michael J. Rausch, The Enterprise, December 21, 2022 | Photo credit: U.S. Army

The US Environmental Protection Agency has extended the timeline for completion of its study on the potential impact of a proposed new machine gun range on Joint Base Cape Cod. The EPA said it anticipates completing its study early next year.

The statement was part of correspondence read during the Bourne Select Board’s meeting on Tuesday, December 20. The EPA has spent much of 2022 evaluating a proposal by the Massachusetts Army National Guard to build a multi-purpose machine gun range on the base. The agency is studying the impact of the gun range on the Upper Cape Cod Water Reserve, a sole source aquifer for towns on the Upper Cape. Read more.
Around the Globe
Nations promise to protect 30 percent of planet to stem extinction
By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, Dec 19, 2022 | Image: Lars Hagberg

Close to 200 countries reached a watershed agreement early Monday to stem the loss of nature worldwide, pledging to protect nearly a third of Earth’s land and oceans as a refuge for the planet’s remaining wild plants and animals by the end of the decade.

A room of bleary-eyed delegates erupted in applause in the wee hours after agreeing to the landmark framework at the U.N. biodiversity summit, called COP15.
Biodiversity Has a Paris Agreement Moment 
By CCNow, Dec 21, 2022
Image: Yu Ruidong via Getty Images

Paris Agreement, meet Montreal Framework.

What UN Secretary-General António Guterres hailed as a “peace pact with nature” caps a year of huge developments in the climate story. On Monday, almost every country in the world — though not the United States — approved the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, as it is officially named. The deal carries striking parallels to the Paris Agreement that has guided climate action since 2015, parallels that cry out for journalistic scrutiny in 2023 and beyond. Read more.
Did This Year Move the Needle on Climate Change?
By Chloe Hadavas, Foreign Policy, Dec 22, 2022 | Image: Yasin Akgul | AFP

This year, the need for climate action was more apparent than ever. Partly, this was evident in extreme weather events around the globe, from Pakistan’s monsoon flooding to Europe’s heat waves. But it is also a simple fact: As the world barrels toward 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming—the threshold set in the Paris Agreement—only rapid and unprecedented measures by governments can forestall catastrophic climate hazards. It’s a target that’s not yet dead but on “life support,” said Frans Timmermans, the European Union’s climate chief.
EVs & Transportation
Food & Agriculture
In the Horn of Africa, a Climate-Fueled Food Catastrophe Looms
By Georgina Gustin, Undark, Dec. 19, 2022

In Torchia, Kenya, if there’s a ring around the sun, it will rain. If the gude bird sings in descending notes, the skies will open. If vultures gather, the showers will begin. Everyone reads the signs, but they don’t mean what they used to. It’s still not raining.
Climate action, one recipe at a time
By UN News, Dec 22, 2022

Crab cakes made with fonio, an ancient West African grain, or Ratatouille prepared with ‘imperfect’ produce to reduce food waste, are only a couple of the over 70 recipes included in the recently launched Cookbook in Support of the United Nations: For People and Planet.
Agriculture is a solution to reach a net zero economy
By Erin Fitzgerald, GreenBiz, Dec 22, 2022

If now isn’t the time to invest in agriculture, when?

At this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP27, the global conversation was focused on food security more than ever before. Read more.
Climate Solutions
The Earthshot Prize winners have bright climate solutions
By  Mrigakshi Dixit, InHabit, Dec 23, 2022

Finding innovative solutions and putting them into action as soon as possible could significantly slow the ongoing crisis — and protect the planet’s future! One such initiative is the Earthshot Prize awarded by an independent charity founded by Prince William and the Royal Foundation in 2020. The award is inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s “Moonshot” initiative of the 1960s. Back then, it brought millions of people together with the goal of landing a human on the moon and promoting the development of new technologies to accomplish it. Read more.
Amazon-produced cacao offers climate solutions
By Miguel Pinheiro, Mongabay, Dec 15, 2022 | Image: Jill Tiongco

Two hours by boat from Belém, the state capital of Pará in Brazil, in the small village of Acará-Açu, wood houses rise on thin piles on the banks of the Acará River. This community has lived for decades on subsistence farming, mostly beans and manioc. Cacao was growing wildly in their gardens, but they didn’t use it commercially.

“It all changed with the arrival of De Mendes,” says Zeno Gemaque, a carpenter-turned-cacao entrepreneur, who is now a supplier for De Mendes, one of Brazil’s artisan chocolate makers that use native cacao. Read more.
Sustainable Packaging Sees Improvements in Functionality
By Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer, Dec 20, 2022

Seventy-seven percent of consumers believe that sustainability is important when selecting products to buy, up eight percentage points from 2021 findings, according to new research from IRI and the NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business (CSB). As consumer expectations regarding sustainability continue to evolve, both CPG manufacturers and retailers need to understand and meet those needs.

One area that has seen tremendous growth is packaging. Read more.
Climate Tech & Renewables
How do floating wind turbines work? 5 companies just won the first US leases for building them off California’s coast
By Matthew Lackner, The Conversation, Dec 8, 2022

Northern California has some of the strongest offshore winds in the U.S., with immense potential to produce clean energy. But it also has a problem. Its continental shelf drops off quickly, making building traditional wind turbines directly on the seafloor costly if not impossible.

Once water gets more than about 200 feet deep – roughly the height of an 18-story building – these “monopile” structures are pretty much out of the question. A solution has emerged that’s being tested in several locations around the world: wind turbines that float. Read more.
The EU has approved a €28 billion German renewable energy scheme
By Euronews, Dec 22, 2022 Image: Yves Herman | Reuters

The EU has approved a €28 billion German renewable energy scheme.

The policy is aimed at rapidly expanding use of wind and solar power. It is designed to deliver Germany's target to produce 80 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Replacing an existing renewables support scheme, it runs until 2026.

The European Commission says the scheme is "necessary and appropriate" to promote renewable energy and cut planet-heating emissions, and that its positive environmental impact will outweigh possible distortions of competition. Read more.
"We have a single mission: to protect and hand on the planet to the next generation."

– Francois Hollande
Image: Kera Think
Water & Oceans
Water as Part of the Climate Solution
A study from Sweden summarizes the enormous role water plays in climate mitigation, from wetlands that take up carbon to untreated wastewater that emits methane.
By Charlie Miller, Inside Climate News, Dec 28, 2022
Image: Carl de Souza | AFP Getty Images

The intersection of freshwater and climate is a frequently ignored but critical element of the climate problem, according to a new study from Sweden that explores the link and offers solutions that will help lower emissions.

Two years in the making, the study, “The Essential Drop to Reach Net-Zero: Unpacking Freshwater’s Role in Climate Change Mitigation,” published by the Stockholm Resilience Centre, identifies forests and freshwater wetlands as a crucial depository of carbon. More than 30 percent of estimated global carbon emissions are sequestered in wetlands. So the need to protect and restore them is urgent. Read more.
Fossil-Sorting Robots Will Help Researchers Study Oceans, Climate
By Matt Shipman, NCSU News | Dec 12, 2022

Researchers have developed and demonstrated a robot capable of sorting, manipulating, and identifying microscopic marine fossils. The new technology automates a tedious process that plays a key role in advancing our understanding of the world’s oceans and climate – both today and in the prehistoric past. Read more.
Glow-in-the dark marine algae ‘more resilient to climate crisis’
By Samuel Webb, The Independent, December.22. 2022

Marine phytoplankton are much more resilient to the looming climate crisis than previously thought, new research shows. An international team of scientists revealed that a mechanism, known as nutrient uptake plasticity, allows marine algae to adapt and cope with nutrient-poor ocean conditions expected to occur over the next decades in response to global warming of the upper ocean. Read more.
Faith in Action
Tell the EPA to Strengthen the Methane Rule

A recently-launched EPA public engagement process is a critical opportunity for faith communities to ensure that the EPA adopts strong, comprehensive methane safeguards to protect our health, frontline communities, and Sacred Earth. In November 2022, President Biden and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed an updated draft rule to cut methane and other harmful pollutants from oil and gas operations across the country.
Interfaith Power & Light invites you to join Faith Climate Action Week, April 14 - 23, 2023.
Save the date! The kits will be available in January.

Faith Climate Action Week is IPL’s annual program of climate-themed worship services and sermons that spans ten days of activities in celebration of Earth Month. This is IPL’s premier event to create a mass movement of people of faith and conscience preaching, teaching, and acting to heal the climate. Read more.
Climate Communications
Young Americans growing more worried about global warming
By Yale Climate Communications, Dec 15, 2022

While public acceptance and worry about global warming have increased over the last decade, acceptance and worry have increased faster among younger Americans aged 18-34 compared to older Americans. For example, since 2012, more young adults today accept that global warming is happening (+13% points from 68% in 2012 to 81% in 2022) and already harming the U.S. (+24% from 40% in 2012 to 64% in 2022). Read more.
Liberal Arts students investigate rhetorical approaches to the climate crisis
By Olivia Bonsick, Penn State News, Dec 19, 2022

When it comes to the complex issue of the climate crisis, how it is discussed in the media, by politicians and by activists is incredibly important to understanding the prevalence of climate change in our society. This is exactly what McCourtney Professor of Civic Deliberation Debbie Hawhee hopes her fourth-year students understand.Read more.
Upcoming Events
Chatham Marconi Maritime Center Speaker Series
How Might Climate Change Affect New England’s Storms?

Thursday, January 5
7:00PM via Zoom

The Chatham Marconi Maritime Center is pleased to welcome Professor Emeritus Kerry Emanuel of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, prominent meteorologist, and climate scientist for a livestreamed Zoom webinar on climate change impacts on New England storms.
Residential Retrofits for Energy
Equity Summit
Featuring Keynote Speaker Delmar Gillus of Elevate Energy

January 19 and 20, 2023
Via Zoom

Join ACEEE for a free, two-half-day, virtual summit featuring sessions for local/state government staff and community-based organizations on leveraging federal funding and multi-sector, community-centered approaches to scaling up holistic retrofits in affordable housing. Learn how thoughtful collaboration can lead to home upgrades that generate energy savings, health benefits, local jobs, and more equitable outcomes for residents. Community-based organizations are eligible to receive stipends for their participation in the summit.

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We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is reduce the Cape & Islands' contributions to climate change and protect our region from its potentially devastating impacts. We depend upon the generosity of our stakeholders to conduct our work. All donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.
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The Climate Collaborative's Climate Action Alerts newsletter is curated and compiled by Fran Schofield with production assistance by Lauren Gottlieb. We welcome climate news from your home, school, business, town, faith community, or organization. Please submit your news, events, or article ideas to info@capecodclimate.org.