climate action alerts
A regional resource for Cape & Islands climate activists
March 11, 2021
News & Opinion
There’s no time to waste — Baker, Legislature must enact the climate bill
Providing regulatory certainty is the best way to spur industry innovation to meet major pollution challenges.
By Mindy Lubber, The Boston Globe, March 9, 2021

Massachusetts legislators and Governor Charlie Baker are close to getting the state’s most ambitious and bipartisan climate change legislation across the finish line. Never before has there been a climate bill as ambitious or that included equity in such a concerted way. Our leaders must now come together so this bill can become law.

After two years of hearings, extensive input, and productive negotiations, the bill is an impressive achievement. For starters, it puts the Commonwealth on a net-zero carbon emissions path while ensuring economic growth and job creation in promising clean energy sectors such as offshore wind. It also strengthens appliance efficiency standards and allows communities to adopt more stringent building codes. And it takes important steps to address longstanding environmental justice issues in neighborhoods that bear the biggest brunt of fossil fuel pollution. Read more.
QUOTE OF THE DAY

"As the theologian James Cone once insisted, “Anger and humor are like the left and right arm. They complement each other. Anger empowers the poor to declare their uncompromising opposition to oppression, and humor prevents them from being consumed by their fury.” A new standup-comedy special, “Ain’t Your Mama’s Heat Wave,” which premières next week at the (virtual) D.C. Environmental Film Festival, is an attempt to prove Cone’s point."

Bill McKibben, The New Yorker, March 10, 2021
The Inter-/National Stage
Senate Confirms Biden’s Pick to Lead E.P.A.
Michael S. Regan has said he intends to act aggressively in carrying out the president’s agenda of fighting climate change.
By Lisa Friedman, The New York Times, March 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Michael S. Regan, the former top environmental regulator for North Carolina, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency and drive some of the Biden administration’s biggest climate and regulatory policies.

As administrator, Mr. Regan, who began his career at the E.P.A. and worked in environmental and renewable energy advocacy before becoming secretary of North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality, will be tasked to rebuild an agency that lost thousands of employees under the Trump administration. Political appointees under Donald J. Trump spent the past four years unwinding dozens of clean air and water protections, while rolling back all of the Obama administration’s major climate rules.

Central to Mr. Regan’s mission will be putting forward aggressive new regulations to meet President Biden’s pledge of eliminating fossil fuel emissions from the electric power sector by 2035. Read more.
Biden’s wooing both labor and environmentalists on climate change. Oil pipelines may drive them apart.
The president is trying to square environmentalists’ demands to stop burning fossil fuels with labor leaders’ desire for union jobs linked to oil and gas

By Juliet Eilperin and Eli Rosenberg, The Washington Post, March 7, 2021

During President Biden’s first formal meeting with the nation’s labor leaders, Mark McManus played the skunk at the garden party: Joking that he “drew the short straw,” the president of the pipe fitters union complained about Biden’s job-killing veto of the Keystone XL pipeline.
The Commonwealth
Region & Municipalities
Cape Cod Climate Action Network (CC CAN) Meeting
Join us for grassroots and regional updates, organizing!

Monday, March 22
6:30pm - 7:30pm
Register here - Passcode 224978

Wonder what's going on with Climate Action Networks (CANs) across the Cape? Interested in getting involved? Curious about how the Cape Cod Climate Action Network can support your local energy/mitigation efforts? Here's your chance to meet other climate activists from Falmouth to P-Town, share local challenges and achievements, and learn about Climate Collaborative-supported initiatives and campaigns your town might adopt locally. Topics will include:
  • Green Community Designations
  • Energy and/or Climate Action Network Committee Formation
  • Energize the Cape (and Vineyard*) Program
  • Public Vehicle Fleets Electrification
  • Public EV Charging Station Expansion
  • Municipal Solar PV Development
  • Net Zero Designs in Planning New Public Building Projects
*under discussion
Transportation
FedEx is FedUp with Emissions
FedEx is going carbon neutral.
By Alexandria Herr, Grist March 8,2021

FedEx announced last week that it will invest $2 billion toward electrification, sustainable energy, and carbon sequestration as part of a larger effort to go carbon neutral by 2040. A big chunk of the money will go toward electrifying FedEx’s fleet of 43,000 vehicles. By 2025, FedEx aims for 50 percent of the vehicles it buys to be electric, with a goal of purchasing only electric vehicles by 2030.

A bigger challenge for FedEx’s carbon neutrality goal is offsetting the footprint of its cargo airline, which is the largest in the world, as the technology for electrifying flights has not progressed as far as it has for vehicles. FedEx also plans to donate $100 million to establish a new center for carbon capture research at Yale University, which could help develop new ways to offset emissions from FedEx’s airplanes. Read more.
Getting Down to Business (& Finance)
Climate Change Risks Should Be A Priority
For U.S. Bank Supervisors
Mayra Rodriguez Valladares, Senior Contributor, Banking & Insurance, Forbes, Feb 23, 2021

Bank regulators globally should develop climate change-related regulations to insure financial stability. Under the President Joe Biden administration, there is no doubt that focusing on climate change is a national priority. One of the first executive orders that President Biden signed was for the United States to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement. Additionally, he signed an  Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad on January 27, which I believe signal that there will be climate change laws and rules coming to every sector of the economy. 

I have advocated previously that bank supervisors should already work with banks to insure that they incorporate climate change-related physical and transition risks into their risk management frameworks. I am very pleased that the Federal Reserve created the Supervision Climate Committee last month, because it shows that climate change is also now a priority for the Federal Reserve. Read more.
Cape Air – Comprehensive Sustainability Programs
By Judith Holt, The Sandwich Enterprise, March 5, 2021

We noted in the last article that Cape Air is knocking it out of the park when it comes to sustainability programs. They commit to science and sustainability from the top. They analyze all expenditures to ensure payback. They dedicate staff to the program and continually explore emerging technologies to save energy and decarbonize their operation, including benefits for employees and encouraging local partnerships.

Cape Air has deployed many ways to reduce energy consumption. To maximize the energy from their 500kW of solar photovoltaic systems, they have installed LED lighting and controls in all offices and maintenance hangars. They have also conducted complete energy upgrades to building shells, upgraded insulation, windows and doors, and HVAC systems to reduce energy loss and increase comfort. Read more.
Education
Faith in Action
The Cape Cod Climate Emergency and Eco-Justice Seminar Series
Monthly forums--sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Falmouth, St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, and the Faith Communities Environmental Network--start in March

Last Wednesday of Every Month, March-October
7:00 - 8:15PM
(Note: sessions are open to all but limited to 50/session to facilitate discussion)

This practical series will be held on the last Wednesday of each month from March through October. Come and learn about the Cape Cod Climate Emergency and issues of Eco-Justice. Share best practices to reduce your carbon footprint at home and on the road, make changes as a consumer, eat for the planet, shift to eco-just financial investing, and bring back outdoor space. Attend a few sessions or all!

  • Sessions 1 and 2 introduce the topic by giving a clear picture of today’s climate and eco-justice reality on the Cape and progress already underway.
  • Sessions 3 through 7 help you take action to make a big difference as an individual, family, community, and global citizen.
  • Session 8 is geared to children, youth, and their families, to help younger people get started and share what they are doing as climate first responders.  

For more information, contact Lew Stern at sternconsulting@comcast.net or 617-759-7060.
Energy & The Built Environment
85% of Massachusetts' Net Zero (NZ) Projects Report <1% Premium 
2nd Draft Report Released

Since (Built Environment Plus') first release in February, continued effort has increased the total of Net Zero Ready, or Net Zero Projects, collected in the analysis to 7.2 Million Gross Square Feet in Mass. These represent built or in-process projects...and it's clear from the survey that Massachusetts is more than ready for net zero.

The bottom line is:
  • The Net Zero and Net Zero Ready building stock exceeds 7 million square feet and is growing at an exponential rate in the Commonwealth today.
  • The vast majority are doing this with little to no added cost. 85% reported <1% construction cost premium to achieve Net Zero Ready.**
  • Net Zero buildings span a wide range of types, with a high degree of representation from K-12, higher education, healthcare, laboratory, office, and multi-family.
  • There are dozens of builders, architects, engineers and owners already bringing these projects to reality, some developers included.
  • Net Zero Ready buildings are highly energy efficient: 82% are at least 35% more efficient than the current stretch code baseline and all rely on heat pumps as the primary source of heat. *Net Zero buildings also procure on-site and/or off-site renewable energy to offset 100% of consumption on a net annual basis. Read more. Download the report.
Hearth & Home
Benefits and Savings of Traditional vs. Clean Heating Technologies

Get a better understanding of the environmental impact and operating costs of your current heating solution as compared to clean heating technologies.

  • Environmental Impact - A graph shows the carbon emissions produced by heating a standard 2,000 square-foot (SF) Massachusetts home using traditional as compared to clean technologies, assuming either today’s electric grid or a 100% renewable grid.
  • Operating Costs - Graphs included represent the annual heating operating cost for a standard 2,000 SF home heated by fossil fuels as compared to clean energy technologies.
  • Cost, Savings + Incentives- There are a number of programs now available to homeowners, making clean energy solutions affordable to install. Read more.
Events & Webinars
Plymouth & Barnstable Senate District Town Virtual Town Hall with Congressman Keating

Monday, March 15
5:00 - 6:00 pm

Register here and include a question or comment
Note: If your question relates to the machine gun range project, please send a copy your question to 350Cape@gmail.com.
Congressman Bill Keating is holding a virtual town hall meeting for Cape & Islands residents to discuss many pressing issues facing our community and our country. The meeting will be moderated by State Senator Su Moran and all are welcome.

Among other issues, the proposed Machine Gun Range project at Camp Edwards, Joint Base Cape Cod, will be addressed. The Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative, Association to Preserve Cape Cod, 350 Cape Cod and other allies are opposed to this project and urge the preparation of a full Environmental Impact assessment addressing climate, environmental and other impacts and establishing a transparent communication and public engagement process.
2030 Clean Energy and Climate Plan Presentation & Discussion

Tuesday, March 16
6:00pm
Join the Sierra Club Massachusetts Chapter for a presentation and discussion of how Massachusetts residents can use their voices to advocate for clean energy and climate in the upcoming Clean Energy and Climate Plan. Sierra Club is working with allies to submit comments and determine top priority talking points to improve the plan.
Ceres 2021 Transform Tomorrow Today Virtual Conference

March 22 - 25
Ceres 2021 Transform Tomorrow Today virtual conference will explore climate policy at the state, regional, federal and global levels. With fresh momentum building for bold climate policy at all levels of government, learn how policy makers, investors, and corporate voices can move the needle toward creating real change at the federal and state level.
Did You Know?
The fashion industry currently accounts for about 10% of global carbon emissions and nearly 20% of wastewater, which is more than the combined aviation and shipping industries. Read more.
The greatest threat to U.S. climate change reform is neither the cutting down of trees, nor the flood of carbon emissions -- it is the systematic, deliberate provocation and trolling of the American people. Read more.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has shifted on climate policy, announcing that it would support a market-based approach to solving climate change. Read more.
Actor Judi Dench loves trees and explains why in the moving video My Passion for Trees. View here.  
Global climate change in cold weather states could be making winter sports a short-lived seasonal activity and industry, and with it, endangering seasonal jobs and and property tax revenue. Read more.
Global climate change in cold weather states could be making winter sports a short-lived seasonal activity and industry, and with it, endangering seasonal jobs and and property tax revenue. Read more.
MISSED NET ZERO 2020?
Check out the session recordings below.

Watch 30+ videos and learn from experts around the region, state and country.
Join the conversation and get involved!

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We are an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to reach carbon neutrality or net zero on Cape Cod and the Islands of Massachusetts by enhancing communication, collaboration, and activism among organizations, programs, and individuals committed to mitigating the climate crisis. We depend upon the generosity of our stakeholders to conduct our work. All donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.
The Climate Action Alerts newsletter is compiled and crafted by Fran Schofield. If you've got a climate story from your home, school, workplace, town or organization, please be in touch!
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