climate action alerts
A regional resource for Cape & Islands climate activists
May 21 , 2021
News, Features, Opinion
National
Interior Department approves first large-scale offshore wind farm in the U.S.
The Vineyard Wind project envisions building 62 turbines off of Martha’s Vineyard producing enough electricity to power 400,000 homes
By Joshua Partlow, The Washington Post, May 11, 2021

The Biden administration on Tuesday approved the first large-scale offshore wind farm in the United States, a project that envisions building 62 turbines off Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts and creating enough electricity to power 400,000 homes.

Vineyard Wind is the first of several massive offshore wind-farm proposals that could put more than 3,000 wind turbines in the Atlantic Ocean from Maine to North Carolina. The Biden administration has committed to processing the other 13 projects under federal review by 2025 in an attempt to meet the administration’s ambitious goal of producing 30,000 megawatts of electricity from offshore wind by 2030, powering some 10 million homes. Read more.
Hawaii Becomes First U.S. State to Declare Climate Emergency
By Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams, 1 May 2021

Hawaii is poised to become the first U.S. state to declare a climate emergency after the Legislature's adoption Thursday of State Senate Concurrent Resolution 44.

The bill "acknowledges that an existential climate emergency threatens humanity and the natural world, declares a climate emergency, and requests statewide collaboration toward an immediate just transition and emergency mobilization effort to restore a safe climate." Read more.
Big Island On Pace To Meet Renewable Energy Goals In 2 Years
Hawaii island could be the first area in the state to exceed goals set by the Legislature and regulators for renewable energy.
By Tom Hasslinger, Honolulu Civil Beat,10 May 2021 
   
Three large solar projects in the works on Hawaii island are bolstering the island’s renewal energy supply, so much so the island should hit 100% of its renewable energy standards by 2023, Hawaiian Electric Co. says. By 2024, that rate could jump to 110%.
Land Use & Conservation
Forests vs. Solar - A False Choice: Protecting Forests & Making Smart Solar Decisions in Your Community

Thursday, May 27, 2021
12:00pm - 1:30pm

The Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative — in partnership with the Cape Cod Commission, Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, and Faith Communities Environmental Network — is presenting a timely and important virtual meeting to explore the value of forests, tensions associated with large-scale sollar installations, and tools for town officials and citizens to make wise planning decisions for their communities. The forum will be moderated by Eve Zuckoff, Climate Change Reporter for radio station CAI; panelists include:

  • Wayne Walker, Ph.D., Carbon Program Director and Associate Scientist, Woodwell Climate Research Center
  • E. Heidi Ricci, M.S., Director of Policy and Advocacy, Mass Audubon
  • Jessica Rempel, M.S., Natural Resources Analyst, Cape Cod Commission
CANS & Around Town
Protecting Chatham's Climate Resilience*
Join the Chatham Climate Action Network for a community conversation. All are welcome!

Saturday, May 22, 2021
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

We've all heard the dire warnings about the impacts of climate change on Cape Cod: sea level rise, increasing severe storms, more floods, beach and coastline erosion. The list seems to go on and on. But did you know that our natural resources can provide protection from these dangers? The same natural areas that we love for their beauty and serenity may just be one of our best defenses against the ravages of climate change. Please join the Chatham Climate Action Network as we explore the ways our local natural resources can be a critical ally in our battle against climate damage, and how we can protect them, build their resilience and help them to help us! Panelists include:
  • Kristin Andres (Chatham Friends of Trees)
  • Christie Beckley (Monomoy Regional High School)
  • Oonie Burley (Chatham Conservation Foundation)
  • Amanda Davis (Chatham Garden Club)
  • Sarah Griscom (Pleasant Bay Community Boating)
  • DeeDee Holt (Pleasant Bay Alliance)
  • Jeff Mason (Friends of Chatham Waterways)

*Resilience: The ability to recover quickly from adversity or setback
Faith in Action
Sen. Warnock: Biden's infrastructure plan can help repair America's divisions
by Brian Roewe, EarthBeat, May 5, 2021

When a family dispute just seems like it can't be solved, sometimes the best solution is to work on a home project together: painting the garage, upgrading the bathroom or kitchen, or finishing the basement. And in the process of building, family members also talk through their issues.

It's that analogy that Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia believes may fit the American family, too, with President Joe Biden's $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan just the big project not only to build a clean energy economy of the future, but also to repair national rifts along the way.

"What I'm saying is that the way families go to Home Depot every now and then and engage in a home improvement project, the American family could use a home improvement project," Warnock told members of Interfaith Power & Light, or IPL, during an April 28 webinar. Read more.
Transportation
Airlines must reduce emissions instead of offsetting, say experts
Campaigners warn offset system is flawed and can produce credits with no climate benefit
Patrick Greenfield, The Guardian, May 5, 2021

Airlines should focus on reducing emissions from flights instead of using carbon offsets for climate commitments, experts and environmental campaigners have warned. British Airways and easyJet are among several leading carriers that use carbon offsets to back up claims of “carbon-neutral flying” and net zero pledges by buying credits on behalf of passengers or offering customers that opportunity to buy them when booking tickets. Read more.
Energy & Built Environment
Mayflower Wind holding open house series
The Future of Clean Energy is Here

Through a series of virtual events, Mayflower Wind is presenting the latest news on the efforts to bring clean energy to Massachusetts via the Mayflower Wind project.

The first open house was held on May 18. Among the items under discussion: 
  • The need and opportunity for offshore wind to fulfill Massachusetts net-zero carbon emissions goals 
  • Plans for making Massachusetts an offshore wind hub through investments in ports and supporting infrastructure; workforce development; innovative technologies; and applied research 
  • An update on onshore electrical infrastructure plans 
  • Interactions with fisheries and marine users 
  • Next steps in permitting and review process 

Stay tuned for more information on this series!
Events & Webinars
Protecting Chatham's Climate Resilience

Saturday, May 22, 2021
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Join the Chatham Climate Action Network and local experts as they explore the ways our local natural resources can be a critical ally in the battle against climate damage, and how we can protect them, build their resilience and help them to help us!

All are welcome!
Solar vs. Forests - A False Choice

Thursday, May 27, 2021
12:00PM - 1:30PM
The Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative is presenting this timely and important event on forest values and large scale solar installations.

Information and tools for planners, ZBA and Select Board members, elected officials, conservation trusts, concerned citizens and others will be presented.
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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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