Big news in the clean energy world, both in the U.S. and abroad, means it is time to bring back our monthly energy news roundup. This month’s links feature two major pledges, a potential new arbiter of clean energy regulations, and the possible death knell for incandescent lights.
The United Nations is leading an initiative to phase out the most efficient light bulbs worldwide. While the global market for incandescent bulbs has dwindled, these bulbs still proliferate in some developing countries. The U.N. guidelines are ready to be cut-and-pasted into law by countries that do not have existing lighting efficiency rules. If adopted globally, Justin Gerdes writes, the efficiency measure will produce $18 billion in electricity savings. Greentech Media.
If confirmed, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will likely push the Court further toward positions that oppose clean energy and environmental regulations. As Brad Plumer explains, the judge has historically ruled against broad applications of federal regulatory power, especially regarding the Environmental Protection Agency. While Kavanaugh has stated that climate change is an important global problem, his legal positions show an unwillingness take the broad actions needed to address that problem. New York Times.
Costa Rica continues to lead the international efforts toward renewable energy. Since 2014, 98.5 percent of the country’s energy has come from renewable sources and new Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado recently pledged that his country will be carbon-neutral by 2021. That goal may be too ambitious, writes Daniel Payne, but the country is providing an essential model in the international clean energy arena nonetheless. The Globe Post.
If Costa Rica is leading the international push toward renewable energy, the City of Atlanta is preparing to play a similar role in the United States. The Atlanta City Council recently reaffirmed its pledge to reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2035, joining a list of more than 70 American cities. Atlanta’s commitment is notable for two reasons, according to James Bruggers. First, the city does not include nuclear power as part of its clean energy future, removing a major possible source of zero-emission energy. Secondly, as the largest city in the South to commit to 100 percent renewable energy, Atlanta faces unique challenges or politics and weather that make the city’s goal more remarkable. Inside Climate News.