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White Man Divests
Richard Drew/Associated Press

New York’s $226 billion pension fund is dropping fossil fuel stocks

“New York State’s pension fund, one of the world’s largest and most influential investors, will drop many of its fossil fuel stocks in the next five years and sell its shares in other companies that contribute to global warming by 2040, the state comptroller said on Wednesday.

With $226 billion in assets, New York’s fund wields clout with other retirement funds and its decision to divest from fossil fuels could accelerate a broader shift in global markets away from oil and gas companies, energy experts and climate activists said…”

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Candy Cane Lane
Marcin Kilarski, Getty Images

Ninety percent of U.S. cars must be electric by 2050 to meet climate goals

The United States is not expected to electrify passenger cars fast enough to stay on track with the Paris climate accord’s goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, according to a new study.

Published in the journal Nature Climate Change yesterday, the study by engineers at the University of Toronto concludes that 90% of light-duty cars on American roads would need to be electric by 2050 to keep the transportation sector in line with climate mitigation targets…

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Ev Charging Station
Desmog

Climate deniers are claiming EVs are bad for the environment—again. Here’s why they’re wrong.

It's going to be important that we stay current and face the misinformation efforts of the fossil fuel industry...DeSmog is a reliable news source.

new paper published Tuesday, November 17, by the conservative think tank the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), raises environmental concerns with electric vehicles in what appears to be the latest attempt by organizations associated with fossil fuel funding to pump the brakes on the transportation sector’s transition away from petroleum and towards cleaner electricity.

In the U.S., the transportation sector is the largest contributor to planet-warming emissions. Climate and energy policy experts say electrifying vehicles is necessary to mitigate these emissions.

In fact, scientists recently warned that if the country has any hope of reaching the Paris climate targets of limiting warming to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), 90 percent of all light-duty cars on the road must be electric by 2050.

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Land
Brad Kreps

Conservation group plots solar potential for retired Appalachian coal mine land

Land trusts are recognizing that energy production, and transitioning off fossil fuels, is a key aspect of de-carbonizing our energy needs; which, in turn, is central to ensuring that the lands and waters we conserve survive for generations to come. That often means new, innovative partnerships.

In 2016, Wells [the regional director of community and economic development for Appalachian Voices] spearheaded the formation of the Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia to figure out how to incorporate renewable energy into an economic transition in the state’s seven coalfield counties.

It’s a coalition of nonprofits, community action agencies, colleges, state agencies, and planning district commissions. Workgroup members are in the midst of jump-starting more than a dozen rooftop solar projects stalled by a number of obstacles.

“The notion of solar farms being part of a reclamation plan has been flirted with for years and years,” said Wells, a Wise County native…

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Solar And Flowers
Center for Pollinators in Energy

Purdue entomologist, green groups laud solar farm for native ground cover plan

Local efforts can make or break compatible renewable projects: Riverstart Solar Park, first announced in 2018, would include 670,000 photovoltaic solar panels on 1,400 acres in southwest Randolph County and produce enough energy to power about 37,000 households—the largest such project in the state. The company was waiting for the ordinance to be enacted before starting construction.

Julie Borgmann, director of Muncie-based Red-tail Land Conservancy, spoke in favor of the pollinator-friendly provisions at several meetings of county government and also collaborated with the other supporters, including the Hoosier Environmental Council.

In an interview, she noted that, while it’s taken her land trust two decades to protect 2,700 acres of land in East Central Indiana, “this single solar farm” can “really have a huge impact on habitat for bugs, birds…and it goes on down the (ecosystem) line.”

Brock Harpur, an assistant professor of entomology at Purdue, called the new ordinance “a massive step forward for pollinator conservation in this state”…

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2019 Norton Rescue Training
Chelsea Barnes / Appalachian Voices

Appalachian solar advocates continue efforts despite setbacks, pandemic

A solar workgroup is retooling its approach and hopeful that Virginia’s new clean energy law will help overcome obstacles…

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Elevated Solar
Send2Press Newswire

Installed: elevated solar supports family farm, cows, and crops

There is a growing effort to treat farm and ranchland as limited—and valuable—assets, as part of renewable installations. That means dual-use designs that ensure longer-term farm and market flexibility.

Generally, solar projects on agricultural land face pushback because traditional solar systems cover the ground in a manner that significantly reduces the amount of available farmland. This project did not face this kind of opposition because a dual-use system doesn’t replace crops, it works with them.

The array is designed to allow sufficient sunlight for the crops and is raised high enough in the air to allow tractors continued access underneath…[It] is designed with 20 ft. row-spacing and a minimum panel height of 10 ft. to improve performance and allow tractors continued access. Dual-use systems use special solar photovoltaic (PV) racking to harvest power from the same sunlight that nourishes the crops that grow under the mounts…

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Owens Farm Solar Grazing

Just how does solar grazing work?

Looking for a way to share how farmers are part of the climate solution? This is one strategy.

There can be concerns about solar overtaking farmland. Yet with good design and partnership with farmers, solar can actually improve soil health and keep farmers on the land. Here’s a short video by Owens Farm, in Pennsylvania, about how solar grazing works.

For additional information, including leases and technical documents, check out American Solar Grazing Association.

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Farmer couple
Salon

On-farm solar grows as farmers see economic rewards—and risks

Steve Pierson switched from raising conventional dairy cows in confinement to grazing the animals on organic pasture for a simple reason: they kept getting sick. He had heard and read about the fact that cows that ate grass had healthier immune systems, since their bodies are designed to digest grasses, not the grain used as feed at most dairies. The transition did make the cows live longer, and he also began to notice other environmental benefits, such as healthier soil and more perennial grasses…

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tulips
Creative Commons

Cultivating communities where people and nature thrive together

This is an interesting organization that is using an integrated farm project as a tool for change and action. Land trusts across the country could emulate and incorporate some of these ideas into their partnerships and land conservation strategies.

The Community Ecology Institute (CEI’)s Climate of Hope project includes three innovation areas, described below: 1) Climate Aware Agriculture featuring Renewable Energy Integration; 2) Cultivating Climate Victory Gardens; and 3) Community Climate Change Education…

Climate of Hope will offer accessible, science-based, action-focused climate change education for the community. [They] offer eight community events at [their] farm on a range of topics from climate victory gardening (and the associated carbon-capturing practices), to composting, energy efficiency, community solar, and more.

[They] also offer customized offsite presentations to eight diverse community organizations including HOAs, faith organizations, school groups, and businesses. These events will be designed to inspire participants and provide strategies and tools for sustained positive climate action.

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