Climate Change ☀️
The Empire State Building and its related buildings are now powered by wind
The world got a little bit greener when the lights of the Empire State Building flickered to life this year: For the first time, the beloved skyscraper and 13 other office buildings owned by the same company were powered solely by wind.

Empire State Realty Trust will announce Wednesday a major purchase of wind power from Green Mountain Energy and Direct Energy, making it the nation’s biggest real estate user of entirely renewable energy.

The three-year contracts, which started Jan. 1, will provide an estimated 300 million kilowatt hours of electricity for ESRT’s more than 10 million-square-foot portfolio. That’s enough to light every home in New York state for a month.

The real estate trust has already established a reputation for sustainability: A decade-long “deep carbon” retrofit enabled the Empire State Building to cut its planet-warming emissions by about 40 percent. The skyscraper itself has run on renewable energy since 2011.

By expanding its renewable energy commitments to its entire portfolio, ESRT will avoid the production of some 450 million pounds of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of removing all New York City taxis from the road for an entire year.


The energy needed to operate buildings is among the nation’s largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. In New York, buildings generate more than two-thirds of the city’s carbon emissions.
Read the full article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2021/02/03/climate-empire-state-wind/

Biden creates new climate adviser role at NASA
NASA is elevating one of its top climate scientists to a new role, a move meant to put greater focus at the space agency on studying the causes and consequences of global warming under President Biden.

Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, will serve in the newly created position of senior climate adviser. He is being brought on in an acting capacity until NASA’s incoming administrator, who has yet to be named, makes a permanent appointment.

In an interview Tuesday, Schmidt said his vision for the position is to have “just one person that’s kind of really focused on the climate issues” at the agency. Right now, the agency has high-ranking officials who oversee Earth science research, but their purview encompasses more than just climate change.

The creation of the new high-level climate position is in line with the Biden administration’s plan to marshal all federal agencies into action on climate change.

And the choice of Schmidt, one of the nation’s most well-respected and outspoken modelers of how Earth’s atmosphere traps heat, is another sign the Biden administration will argue for aggressive cuts in emissions.

... Central to the agency's climate work is its fleet of satellites that enables policymakers and activists to monitor carbon emissions, deforestation, land use change, snow cover, ice sheets and other shifts in the landscape, with many data sets offered freely to the public and dating back to the 1970s. NASA has a slew of climate-focused space missions coming up in the next few years.

The agency, however, has not had a single point person on climate change issues, despite the role it plays in gathering critical data on the Earth.
Read the full article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/02/03/energy-202-biden-creates-new-climate-adviser-role-nasa/

Court Faults France Over ‘Ecological Damage’ From Its Emissions Levels
A French court ruled on Wednesday that France had caused “ecological damage” by insufficiently reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, a landmark decision that environmentalists said they hoped would be more than merely symbolic as such cases are increasingly brought to courts internationally.

The court said it would give the French government two months to take action before issuing any order to reduce emissions and repair the damage, a decision that the four groups that brought the case described as a “a victory for the truth.”

“We hope that the court will not limit itself to acknowledging the state’s fault,” the groups, which included the French branches of Greenpeace and Oxfam, said in a statement, “but will also compel it to finally take concrete measures to at least meet its climate commitments.”


For now, the ruling by a Paris administrative court was more modest, ordering the French state to pay 1 euro ($1.20) each to the environmental groups, in compensation for the “moral damage” resulting from its failure “to meet its commitments in the fight against climate change.”

An environment ministry statement said that the government “took note” of the court ruling and was “aware that the initial objectives” to reduce its emissions “had not been achieved.”

It added that a set of new climate-related laws would help France meet its commitments and that the government was “aware of the legitimate expectations and is listening to the questions from civil society on these issues.”
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/03/world/europe/france-emissions-court.html

Climate change, periodic modification of Earth’s climate brought about as a result of changes in the atmosphere as well as interactions between the atmosphere and various other geologic, chemical, biological, and geographic factors within the Earth system.

Source: Climate change - Evidence for climate change | Britannica
Climate Change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Without drastic action today, adapting to these impacts in the future will be more difficult and costly.

Source: Climate Change | United Nations