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Archive for the ‘Copenhagen Summit’ Category

Watch this short video on “How to cycle in the city”. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152693683939809&set=vb.22898109808&type=2&theater#

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Nashville celebrated the day with a volunteer rally at Vanderbilt University.

 

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Greenways Can Achieve Most of 2020 US Climate Goal

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by Dennis Markatos-Soriano

As world leaders gather in Copenhagen to negotiate international strategy to lower global greenhouse emissions, I’d like to share a vision for part of the solution. Greenways and other improvements in bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure can make make a huge impact lowering emissions in the coming decade. Some economists and politicians who drag their feet regarding climate action complain that lowering emissions could come with a difficult price tag. But at least half of Obama’s 2020 goal can be achieved alongside large savings if we seize the opportunity to increase our use of renewable human power for transportation.

In 2009, US greenhouse gas emissions are ~10% above the goal Obama and the House have set for US emissions in 2020 (17% below 2005 levels). So, how do we lower pollution levels in the 2010s?

Transforming our Transportation System from Polluter to Solution

Transportation is currently one of the biggest polluting sectors, accounting for ~28% of US greenhouse gas emissions (US EIA, 2008). Carbon dioxide-spewing cars, trucks, and planes make up most of our national means of transportation. According to a recent study, only ~12% of Americans utilize active transportation regularly today (9% walk, 1% bike, and 2% take the bus or train). By increasing the bicycling and walking share by just 12.5% per year in the decade to come, we can achieve an active transportation share of more than 36% in 2020.

Such an increase in walking and cycling would cut transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions by over 20%, translating into a >5% drop in total US emissions. That’s more than half the goal Obama is aiming for over the next 11 years, and it comes with serious savings rather than costs. The shift would lower our need to import expensive oil by 25% or more than $60 billion per year (based on $70/barrel oil this would cut our trade deficit by more than 10% from 2009 levels). And by reducing demand for oil, it could help prevent a huge spike in oil prices in the 2010s as oil production becomes more difficult from hard-to-reach sites such as deep offshore fields and polar regions.

A 36% share for active transportation is not far-fetched, since countries such as The Netherlands and Sweden already enjoy 50-65% shares. And the health benefits from more active transportation would help keep health care costs from rising so quickly in the future.

There are some investments necessary to make this transition a smooth one. We need to foster more respect between drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. And we need to improve cycling and walking infrastructure — building greenways so that non-motorized users have a safe, accessible route without competition with dangerous cars and trucks.

The East Coast Greenway is a perfect example of a transportation corridor that is vital to achieving a 36% active transport share. By connecting neighborhoods to schools, work, and play within cities and between cities, this developing 3,000-mile greenway makes everyday use and long-distance travel achievable by everyone from children to seniors. Where financing is lacking for greenways, we are incorporating low-cost but high-impact improvements in bicycling infrastructure such as bike lanes and signage to achieve the safest route possible in the near-term. And we look forward to working with our friends at the Alliance for Biking & Walking and elsewhere to make this vision one that communities and regions all over the US and beyond can embrace.

While efficiency, solar, and wind power are poised to provide the remaining emissions reduction, an increase in the use of our own renewable muscles can help stabilize our global climate in the decade to come. Achieving emissions reductions never felt so good!

Onwards in the Sustainable Energy Transition-

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Streetsfilm reports from Copenhagen during the UN climate summit, looking at the city’s innovative bicycle infrastructure, including a prominent bicycle counter next to a lane to inspire civic pride.

Watch the video, which Streetsblog says features “‘the busiest bicycling street in the Western world’, and lots of other you-gotta-see-them-to-believe-them features including bike counters (featuring digital readouts), LEDS, double bike lanes (for passing) and giant hot pink cars.”

Counting bikes in Copenhagen

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This week the Sierra Club’s Big Picture Campaign won its biggest victory yet when the Obama Administration finalized the Endangerment Finding, giving the EPA the authority to fight global warming emissions.

Thanks to the tens of thousands of Sierra Club activists like you who sent messages to the EPA, attended rallies coast to coast, and testified at public hearings the EPA finally has the power to fight climate change – now it’s time to use it.

Tell the EPA you support holding Big Polluters responsible for their share of the dirty air.

Did you know that only a handful of huge factories emit over half of all global warming pollution in the US? It’s time to make these Big Polluters clean up their act, and that’s exactly what the EPA is proposing to do with the new authority granted by the Endangerment Finding.

Check out our video about the EPA’s plan to hold Big Polluters accountable and send a public comment before the December 27th deadline!

Big Oil and Coal are already fighting the EPA’s plan to use the Endangerment Finding to hold them responsible. We need your help to show that Americans are tired of Big Polluters putting us all at risk.

Ask the EPA to put the Endangerment Finding into action and make Big Oil and Coal clean up their polluting ways.

Thank you so much for getting involved and making a difference.

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Right now, the National Wildlife Federation has a delegation at the global climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark to speak up for a climate treaty that protects our natural resources and reduces global warming pollution.

Take a moment today to send your message with NWF’s delegation, urging President Obama to remain committed to passing a strong international climate treaty.

We all know that up to 30% of plant and wildlife species will be at risk for extinction if we don’t act now.

A strong climate treaty will protect our world’s forests, cap carbon emissions, set up a clean energy economy to benefit workers, and protect our planet’s wildlife and natural wonders for future generations.

Make sure the message for a strong international climate treaty is heard loud and clear.

All the world’s leaders are gathering to talk about the future of our climate and we’ll be there to make sure your voice is heard.

Ask President Obama to lead the way to a strong international climate treaty for our country and the world.

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With all the “Ho Ho Ho” of the holiday season upon us, here’s a simple way to do something green instead of killing a pine tree for Christmas.

The green way is to rent a live Christmas tree for the holidays and then have the tree returned to the environment, alive.

And, the glory of this approach is that you don’t have to do any of the work, you just order the tree and it arrives potted.

After the holidays, the company picks up the tree and bingo, a green Christmas. Your company joins the ranks of those adopting a green office strategy.

Two companies, Evergrow Christmas Trees Co. and Carbonsync Christmas offer the live-tree rental service for about $100 a tree. The trees are returned to nurseries until needed next year. Normally, a tree that takes six to twelve years to grow into a Christmas tree is turned into mulch after a single season.

By renting a live tree and returning it to the nursery, the trees continue to soak up carbon dioxide, so the rental service is yet another way to minimize emissions that create climate change.

In other green Christmas developments, how about running the lights on your tree in a carbon-free manner?

In Copenhagen, home of the big international greenhouse gas emission conference, the city’s Christmas tree lights are powered by pedal power — a team of stationary bicyclists power the tree’s lights

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