climate action alerts

A regional resource for climate advocates
November 9, 2022
Net Zero 2022 Conference
Climate Collaborative Net Zero 2022 Conference

The Climate Collaborative hosted our NZ-22 virtual conference on October 28, with over 700 registrants! With climate, energy, and policy experts from around the globe, nation, state and region, the program was enlightening and inspiring.
To watch the recordings of all sessions, click here.
COP27: UN Climate Change Conference
COP27: 'Climate chaos' warning as UN summit begins
By Esme Stallard, BBC News, Nov 6, 2022
Image: Pysmirian

On November 6, world leaders began a two-week meeting on climate issues at the annual climate summit. This year’s summit—known as COP27—is being held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The conference will be focused on tensions between rich countries responsible for much of the world’s emissions of GHGs and poor countries that face the worst impacts of climate change. The conflict emanates from questions over who should pay for the costs of climate change – referred to at COP 27 as “loss and damage.”

Developing countries are demanding establishment of new fund to pay for the costs of climate impacts, including relocating villages and making up for lost economic growth. Specific examples of climate loss and damage that are already occurring are the displacement of over 30 million people in Pakistan due to flooding and moving communities in Fiji that are now underwater due to rising sea levels. More than 100 world leaders and over 35,000 delegates are attending. Read more.
U.N. climate talks off to tense start as nations feud over damage
At COP27, developing countries want compensation for damage already sustained from climate change. Rich countries aren’t ready.
By Michael Birnbaum, Allyson Chiu and Sarah Kaplan, Washington Post, Nov 7, 2022 | Photo Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty

Leaders of the developing world on Monday demanded that wealthy nations spend vastly more to help vulnerable populations adjust to a warming planet, as a United Nations climate conference started with growing anger toward industrialized countries reluctant to pay for the consequences of climate change.

“We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator,” warned U.N. Secretary General António Guterres, as he opened two weeks of talks, known as COP27, in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh. Countries have agreed to start talking for the first time about the world’s wealthy nations paying a form of climate reparations to the most vulnerable countries. Read more.
Local Climate News
Vineyard Wind Begins Offshore Cable Installation Campaign For Nation's First Commercial Scale Offshore Windfarm
By Andrew Doba, Vineyard Wind, Nov 1, 2022
Image: Pysmirian

Vineyard Wind today announced that cable installation for the first commercial scale offshore windfarm has begun approximately 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. The company also announced that it expects to begin nearshore cable work off the south coast of Cape Cod in the coming days.

The work is being conducted by Prysmian Group, the global leader in subsea cable manufacturing and installation. Prysmian recently announced plans to build the first U.S.-based offshore wind subsea cable factory in Somerset, Massachusetts, adding to its strong North American footprint that includes 28 manufacturing facilities. Read More.
Cape Cod Commission To Create Floodplain Regulatory Tools
By The Cape Cod Enterprise, Oct 18, 2022 | Image: Cape Cod Commission

The Cape Cod Commission has received funding through the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to create new regulatory tools for development in the floodplain.

The $148,534 awarded to the Commission is part of more than $1.2 million in Planning Assistance Grant Program funds awarded recently by the Baker-Polito Administration... Nineteen percent of the Cape Cod region is in the Federal Emergency Management Agency Special Flood Hazard Area. Today, flooding threatens more than 13,000 single-family homes within the hazard area, worth a combined $9 billion. With the increased risk of climate change and rising sea levels, even more is at stake. Read more.
How a Cape Cod restaurant is preparing to face rising seas alongside Woods Hole scientists
By Heather McCarron, Cape Cod Times, Oct 22, 2022
Image: Merrily Cassidy/Cape Cod Times

At the Landfall Restaurant on the southwestern edge of Falmouth there aren't many places for water to go when the sea rises. Except in.

Situated in the heart of the sea-faring village of Woods Hole, with its dining room suspended on a pier just a couple of feet above the tides, the Landfall has seen its fair share of salt water over the last 76 years.

Numerous full-on hurricanes — like Carol and Edna in 1954, Donna in 1960, Gloria in 1985, and Bob in 1991 — gusty side swipes and turbulent nor'easters have sent the owners and their staff scrambling to prepare, putting up boards, throwing down sandbags. All to no avail, as the commemorative high waterline plaques affixed to one of the roof-supporting pilings inside the restaurant attest. Read more.
Get that mattress off the curb! Here's what to know about Massachusetts' new waste bans
By Barbara Moran, WBUR, Oct 31, 2022
Image: Joe Difazio for WBUR

People and businesses in Massachusetts throw away more than 5 million tons of trash each year. The state's goal is to cut this waste to 4 million tons by 2030, and to a mere 570,000 tons by 2050.

The state already has a list of things you're not supposed throw in the trash, including glass, metal, lead-acid batteries, bricks and asphalt.

On Nov. 1, the state adds three more: textiles, mattresses, and a certain level of commercial food waste. Read more.
Oceans and Energy
An untapped source of power: Rivers and tides
By Joseph Winters, The Beacon, Oct 24 2022
Image: Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Energy last week unveiled a major investment in renewable energy generated by ocean tides and river currents. Some $35 million from the federal infrastructure legislation that passed last year will be deployed to drive further research into the scalability of these technologies and to create at least one demonstration project.

“Our oceans and rivers represent a huge potential source of renewable energy,” Alejandro Moreno, the Energy Department’s acting assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy, said in a statement. Although ocean tides and river currents only generate a small fraction of the U.S.’s electricity today, the agency says they have the potential to account for nearly 8 percent of the country’s annual power generation. Read more.
U.S. to provide millions in funding for tidal energy and river current systems
By Anmar Frangoul, CNBC, Oct 19, 2022
Image: Laro Pilartes

The U.S. Department of Energy said $35 million in funding would be made available “to advance tidal and river current energy systems” under plans it hopes will provide a shot in the arm to a sector whose current footprint is tiny.

In a statement Tuesday outlining the move, the DOE said the funding opportunity — which is slated for release in 2023 — represented the “largest investment in tidal and river current energy technologies in the United States.”

A notice of intent related to the funding opportunity has been posted online. The DOE said it proposed “to develop a tidal or river current research, development, and demonstration site and to support in-water demonstration of at least one tidal energy system.” Read more.
Biden-Harris Administration Announces First-Ever Offshore Wind Lease Sale in the Pacific
California sale opens new opportunities for U.S. floating offshore wind
By US DOI, Interior Press, October 18, 2022
Image: BOEM

In a new development in the pursuit of a clean energy future, the Department of the Interior today announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold an offshore wind energy lease sale on Dec. 6, 2022, for areas on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off central and northern California.

This will be the first-ever offshore wind lease sale on America’s west coast and the first-ever U.S. sale to support potential commercial-scale floating offshore wind energy development. This sale will be critical to achieving the Biden-Harris administration’s deployment goals of 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy by 2030 and 15 GW of floating offshore wind energy by 2035. Read more.
Cities Can Boost Access to Efficient Transportation Using $3 Billion from the New Climate Law
By Ben Jennings, ACEEE, Oct 19, 2022

A $3 billion program in the recent Inflation Reduction Act provides communities a key opportunity to invest in improving equitable access to efficient, low-carbon transportation. Known as the Neighborhood Access and Equity Grant Program, the funding is a critical complement to the bill’s investments in electric vehicles.

The program could be used to improve neighborhood walkability and ease access to transit, shared bicycles, and other micromobility options for millions of people around the country. While the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will likely issue guidance to clarify possible uses of the funds, it’s not too early for local governments to consider how they might apply to use them. Read more.
US, UAE enter into clean energy partnership worth $100B: White House

The two countries will invest in managing harmful emissions, developing nuclear technology, decarbonising industrial transportation sectors and developing low-emission energy sources.
By TRT World, Nov 1, 2022

The United States announced a clean energy partnership with the United Arab Emirates worth $100 billion, the White House has said. The Partnership for Accelerating Clean Energy (PACE) will aim to develop low-emission energy sources to distribute 100 gigawatts of clean energy worldwide by 2035, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement on Tuesday.

The two countries will also invest in managing harmful emissions such as carbon and methane, as well as in developing nuclear technology and decarbonizing industrial and transportation sectors. Read more.
EU approves ban on sale of new gasoline, diesel cars by 2035
Passenger cars are a major polluter, accounting for 61 percent of total CO2 emissions from all vehicles in the EU
By Sarah Holder, Bloomberg News, Oct 27, 2022
Image: AP Archive

The European Parliament and EU member countries have reached a deal to ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars and vans by 2035.

EU negotiators sealed on Thursday night the first agreement of the bloc's “Fit for 55" package set up by the Commission to achieve the EU’s climate goals of cutting emissions of the gases that cause global warming by 55 percent over this decade.
The Aleutian Islands could become a hub for zero-emissions shipping
By Theo Greenly, KUCB, Oct 31, 2022 | Image: Hope McKenney/KUCB

It started with a question: is it possible for the large container ships traveling from China to the United states to make the trip using renewable fuel sources?

The international shipping industry largely runs on petroleum. The sector emits about a billion tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses annually, according to a study published by the United Nations.

So a group of researchers at an independent nonprofit, the International Council on Clean Transportation, are looking into what it would take to transition petroleum-run ships into using zero-emission fuels. Read more.
Food & Agriculture
A melting glacier, an imperiled city and one farmer’s fight for climate justice
A Peruvian farmer is suing one of Europe’s biggest emitters. The case could set a precedent for holding polluters accountable for harm to the planet.
By Sarah Kaplan, Washington Post, Aug 25, 2022
Image:Angela Ponce for the Washington Post

THE CORDILLERA BLANCA, Peru — Once, this was where Saúl Luciano Lliuya came to find peace. The mountain’s pristine beauty ensured his livelihood as a guide; its steady stream of fresh water sustained his family farm. The everlasting ice that gleamed from its rugged crest spoke of a world in balance.

But on this May morning, Luciano Lliuya surveyed Nevado Palcaraju with his eyes narrowed, his forehead creased. The glacier was almost gone, transformed by rising temperatures from solid ice into a large, unstable lagoon. At any moment, an avalanche or rockslide could cause the turquoise meltwater to surge over its banks, hurtle down the mountainside and deluge the city of Huaraz, where he and some 120,000 others lived. Read more.
A new tax credit for biogas could be a boon to factory farms
Experts say the Inflation Reduction Act's push for biogas is "one step forward and two steps back."
By John McCraken, Grist, Nov 1, 2022
Image: Getty Images

When Maria Payan’s son was screened for cancer, she knew he had to leave home.

The Payan family lived in Delta, Pennsylvania, a rural community of fewer than 1,000 people near the southern edge of the state, bordering Maryland. Payan, a Pennsylvania native, said she wanted her son Michael to grow up in a small, idyllic community like she did when she was young, making Delta an attractive place to raise a family. 

Then the farm across the road changed hands and became a concentrated animal feeding operation, or CAFO, home to thousands of poultry and cattle, churning out a steady supply of manure and animal waste. Read more.
Solar panels and crops can coexist, but more study needed on how and where
By Kari Lydersen, Energy News Network, October 17, 2022
Image: Werner Slocum/NREL

A recent analysis reveals the daunting number of variables that need to be considered when attempting to pair agricultural production and solar generation.

Federal researchers know that solar panels and crops can coexist and provide mutual benefits in certain scenarios. A recent study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) confirms this but also shows that such co-location can lead to crop or financial losses, including from complications like mold-causing dew accumulation and soil damage from construction equipment. Read more.
COP27: First Official Food and Agriculture Pavilion
By The Rockefeller Foundation, Oct 26, 2022
Image: Prashanth Vishwanathan

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), CGIAR and The Rockefeller Foundation announced today that they will host the official Food and Agriculture Pavilion at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) to be held from 6 to 18 November in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. This marks the first time that such a pavilion has been set up COP.

A rich programme of events will showcase innovative solutions to help countries take effective climate action to protect agri-food systems. Read more.
Why Harvesting Solar Energy Is a Win for America’s Farmers
Agrivoltaics reduce emissions, save water, and may even boost crop yields.
By Tom Philpot, Mother Jones, October 25, 2022
Image: Melanie Lambrick

America’s solar industry has boomed in recent years, and is slated for a big boost from the Democrats’ recently passed climate bill. Yet solar still only accounts for about 3 percent of electricity flowing into America’s grid—less than one-seventh the share from coal. If we want to phase out fossil fuels and accommodate an electric vehicle revolution, the sun’s contribution has to rise dramatically—and fast. But where to put all the panels?

The best places for solar installations, according to a 2019 study from the University of Utah and Oregon State, tend to be the areas where we already grow our food. That’s because, just like sun-loving tomato plants that fare poorly when the mercury creeps north of 85 °F, photovoltaic (PV) panels lose their efficiency at higher temperatures. Read more.
Digging into rangeland soil carbon storage with Woodwell’s scientists
A research trip to southwest Colorado collected data that will help rangeland managers track carbon captured in their soils
By Sarah Ruiz, Woodwell Climate Research Center, July 11, 2022
Image: Sarah Ruiz

In collaboration with Dr. Megan Machmuller at Colorado State University, assistant scientist Dr. Jennifer Watts and senior scientist Dr. Jon Sanderman have brought their teams here to collect field observations that will help inform a comprehensive model of carbon storage on rangelands across the United States. Grazing lands have the potential to be a valuable carbon sink, provided the livestock on them are being sustainably managed, but the true magnitude of that value is not yet well understood. Developing a regional model of the way carbon moves through rangelands will deepen our understanding of the role they play as a natural climate solution. Read more.
The hidden wonders of soil
By Jane Zelikova, TED, October 25, 2022
Image: TED Countdown Summit

From nourishing our foods to storing massive amounts of carbon, soil is teeming with diverse microbial life that could slow global warming. Climate change scientist Jane Zelikova calls for agricultural practices that protect Earth's soil by growing climate-adapted crops that don't mess with the microbes. "Soils are the literal foundation of life on this planet -- the reason that we eat and the climate solution just waiting to be unlocked," she says.

Under our feet, there is an unseen world more diverse than all the tropical rainforests combined. Teeming with microbial life and critters, large and small, this hidden world of soil is on every single continent. But most of us know little to nothing about this vast world under our feet. And for most of my life, I was no exception. Read or listen.

“Climate change does not respect border; it does not respect who you are — rich and poor, small and big. Therefore, this is what we call ‘global challenges,' which require global solidarity.”

– Ban Ki-moon
Image: NASA | Shutterstock
Around the Globe
The state of grocery retail around the world
A survey of more than 30,000 consumers and 100 grocery CEOs reveals the challenges—and opportunities—that grocery retailers face today.

By Bill Aull, Dymfke Kuijpers, and Daniel Läubli, McKinsey, October 6, 2022

Changes to the global grocery retail market are happening fast. Trends that emerged during the pandemic are persisting, reshaping the industry. Consider this: in December 2019, the percentage of e-commerce grocery sales in the US market was slightly under 4 percent; it’s now in the low teens and is expected to reach roughly 25 percent by 2030. The adoption of online grocery is expected to be even higher in parts of Europe. Listen or read here.
WHO and WMO launch a new knowledge platform for climate and health
By WHO News, Oct 31, 2022

The first global knowledge platform dedicated to climate and health - – was launched today by the Joint Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO), with support from the Wellcome Trust. It is in response to growing calls for actionable information to protect people from the health risks of climate change and other environmental hazards.

Climate and health are inextricably linked. Climate change, extreme weather events and environmental degradation have fundamental impact on human health and well-being. More people than ever before are exposed to increased climate-related health risks, from poor water and air quality to infectious diseases and heat stress. Read more.
How Climate Change Influences Temperatures in 1,000 Cities Around the World
A new tool can tell you how big an impact climate change had on the temperature in those cities on any given day.

By Katelyn Weisbrod, Inside Climate News, Oct 29, 2022
Image: Don MacKinnon/AFP via Getty Images

Was the temperature in your city on a given day influenced by climate change?

A new tool can answer that question for more than 1,000 cities around the world. The Climate Shift Index, developed by scientists at Climate Central, uses long-term observations and trends at locations combined with global climate models to determine whether the temperature at a given location on a given day was made more or less likely by global warming. Read more.
Built Environment
Announcing the 2022 BE+ Green Building Showcase Award Winners
Celebrating and showcasing inspiring success stories for a sustainable built environment.
By Built Environment Plus, Nov 1, 2022

Over 200 people gathered in the main atrium of Harvard University’s new Science & Engineering Complex to celebrate the impressive array of projects that have slowly but surely transformed the built environment and our relationship to it. The venue itself served as a fitting success story itself – winning last year’s Green Building of the Year Award, and securing LEED Platinum certification along with Living Building Challenge petal certifications for Materials, Equity, and for Beauty. Read more.
Upcoming Events
Free Concert Featuring: Pernambuco Piano Quintet

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Falmouth (UUF) is returning to their meeting house for the first time since the pandemic lockdown began!

The UUF made extensive renovations to their building's HVAC system to ensure a safe, healthy environment, and their first in-person gathering will be a free concert of chamber and vocal music by Schubert, Bach, and Vaughan Williams

When: Sunday, November 13, at 3:00 PM 
Where: The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Falmouth
840 Sandwich Rd, East Falmouth, MA
The concert is presented by the Pernambuco Piano Quintet, and the musicians are: Shirie Leng, violin; Jessica Baum, viola; Judith Glixon, cello; Michael Goldring, double bass and voice; and Daniel Goodman, piano.

Donations will be accepted for the Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative during this concert.
Environmental Justice Council Meeting Invitation

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs is convening the Environmental Justice Council (EJC) for its next meeting.

When: Wednesday, November 9, 2022 at 6:00 pm (virtual)
Register here

The EJC is appointed by the Governor to advise and provide recommendations to the Secretary of EEA on relevant policies and standards to achieve environmental justice principles that are recognized by state law. As one of its first priorities, the EJC will conduct an analysis to ensure the definition of environmental justice (EJ) population achieves these objectives of environmental justice principles. View the agenda here


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The Climate Collaborative's Climate Action Alerts newsletter is curated and edited 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