Posts tagged with "climate change"

COP28 Draft Agreement Calls to Move Away From Fossil Fuels

Nearly every country in the world has agreed to “transition away from fossil fuels” – the main driver of climate change – at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai.

It is the first time such an agreement has been reached in 28 years of international climate negotiations.

The commitment is included in the first “global stocktake” of how countries can accelerate action to meet the goals of the landmark Paris Agreement.

However, many countries walked away from the talks frustrated at the lack of a clear call for a fossil-fuel “phase-out” this decade – and at a “litany of loopholes” in the text that might enable the production and consumption of coal, oil and gas to continue.

Despite an early breakthrough on launching a fund to pay for “loss and damage” from climate change, developing countries were left disappointed by a lack of new financial commitments for transitioning away from fossil fuels and adapting to climate impacts.

COP28 president and oil executive Dr Sultan Al Jaber hailed the “world-first” achievement of getting “fossil fuels” in a UN climate change agreement.

However, his presidency was overshadowed by allegations the UAE intended to use COP28 to make oil-and-gas deals.

Read the full report from CarbonBrief HERE.

Draft COP28 Agreement.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Joins Together Louisiana to Celebrate Community Lighthouse

 

Grassroots effort leads to network of solar+storage resilience hubs throughout most climate-vulnerable place in America

LAPLACE, La. (Nov.16, 2023) – U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm joined with hundreds of members of Together Louisiana, the state’s largest grassroots organization, to celebrate the group’s newest solar+storage installation at New Wine Christian Fellowship. It is located in St. John the Baptist Parish, the most vulnerable county to climate change in the U.S., according to the 2023 Climate Vulnerability Index.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the completion of the seventh Community Lighthouse in Louisiana. This project is a testament to the power of grassroots organizations and their commitment to creating resilient and sustainable communities,” said Secretary Granholm.

An initiative of Together Louisiana, the Community Lighthouse project provides commercial-scale solar power and back-up battery capacity to congregations and community institutions throughout the state. During extended power outages, they immediately assess need and aid area residents.

“Just a year and a half ago, reeling from a deadly, weeks-long power outage throughout the state, we launched a grassroots effort to set the world standard for grid resilience and climate response. A lofty, rhetorical goal then, now we see that we’re well on our way to making it a reality,” said Pastor Shawn Anglim of First Grace UMC who is a faith leader with Together Louisiana.

Community Lighthouse is already the nation’s largest network of solar+storage resilience hubs. The Community Lighthouse at New Wine Christian Fellowship is the seventh to come online in a network that will span the entire state.

“Here we are in the most climate-vulnerable county in America, and we, everyday people, are leading the nation with a solution for resilience,” said Pastor Neil Bernard of New Wine Christian Fellowship, who is a faith leader with Together Louisiana. “We are grateful to Secretary Granholm for being here and DOE’s support. As a Community Lighthouse, we will be able to continue serving our community in times of crisis, which are becoming more frequent and devastating.

Beyond their role in neighborhood-level disaster response, the lighthouses represent a significant investment in clean, renewable energy that will significantly reduce energy costs, as well as workforce development that includes project labor agreements to hire local workers at living wages for all stages of the process. 

Together Louisiana’s regional affiliates are spearheading efforts in their areas. Together New Orleans has plans for a network of 86. North Louisiana Interfaith has plans for a network of 20 across Caddo Parish. Together Baton Rouge is advancing plans for its six.

“Community Lighthouse represents what’s possible when everyday people are empowered,” said Evelyn Turner, a leader with Together New Orleans. “Eighteen months ago, in the sweltering heat, we decided enough was enough and we needed to create a solution for our own communities. Today is a testament to that.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a $250 million federal investment in Louisiana that will support a major expansion of Together Louisiana’s Community Lighthouses.  

The Community Lighthouse project is being funded through public-private partnerships and philanthropic efforts, including: 

  •     $1 million from the Greater New Orleans Foundation through a “Leadership Challenge Grant” to launch the initiative.
  •     $3.8 million community project funding by Congressman Troy A. Carter, Sr. – the single largest in the nation for a solar-related project. 
  •     $2 million from the City of New Orleans
  •     $500,000 from Caddo Parish
  •     $500,000 from the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Council 
  •     Other funders include the U.S. Department of Energy, Kresge Foundation, Direct Relief, and Episcopal Relief and Development, among others. 

VIDEO: Together Louisiana – Energy Justice to the People Roadshow

About Together Louisiana
Together Louisiana is a statewide network of more than 250 religious congregations and civic organizations across Louisiana, representing more than 200,000 people. It is one of the largest grassroots organizations in the history of Louisiana. The mission of Together Louisiana is to give faith and community-based organizations an opportunity to develop the leadership capacity of their members and affect change on a larger scale than they could alone. Together Louisiana is currently working on issues that include tax fairness, access to healthcare, flood recovery, access to healthy food, workforce development, criminal justice reform and improving infrastructure and transportation.

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NOLA: Weathering Storms With Community Lighthouses

Contributor: ASIA OGNIBENE with Together New Orleans

 

Across the Southeast, hundreds of thousands of people are without power in the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia – a situation all too familiar to us. As the storm made landfall in Florida, something incredible was happening in New Orleans. Dozens of dedicated Together New Orleans volunteers were engaged in a disaster simulation at the Broadmoor Community Church – the very first Community Lighthouse that opened this spring. 

We held the training Wednesday during the church’s regularly scheduled food pantry to simulate an active scenario and test the system. Volunteers were told the details of the disaster scenario and given roles to play, and the simulation provided many valuable “lessons learned” that will inform the work of Lighthouses throughout the city and state.  

Together New Orleans has opened four Lighthouses and aims to complete a dozen more as part of an initial pilot phase. In total, we’ll install a network of 86 across the city so that every resident lives within a 15-minute walk of one. It’s not stopping there! Together Louisiana’s regional organizations are expanding Lighthouses throughout the state. North Louisiana Interfaith is piloting two and plans to create a network of 20 in Caddo Parish. And just last week, Together Baton Rouge secured funding for its first three and is already working on plans for the next three. Other regions are also working to launch pilot programs in the near term.

This week of record-breaking heat also marked the anniversaries of Hurricanes Katrina and Ida – somber reminders of the significance of our work. As we continue to open more and more Lighthouses, we’re empowering our communities to weather the storms that will come our way and to better do what we’ve always done: help one another.

Thanks to everyone who volunteered for this week’s training. If you’d like to be part of a volunteer rapid response team, email asia@togetherla.org.

 

Losing Earth: NYT Magazine Panel Discussion On Climate Change

BY JEANETTE LENOIR

 

From 1979 to 1989 scientists, activists and the government came close to solving global warming. Unfortunately, they didn’t act on the established science that showed climate change is not a hoax. New York Times Magazine Special Climate Issue lays out the narrative in two parts in their new issue.

Losing Earth: The decade we almost stopped climate change. A strategy in two acts.

Science, industry, government, the international community — everyone was on board and ready to act. How we got there, and why we ultimately failed, is the subject of a major new project from The New York Times Magazine published in partnership with the Pulitzer Center.

On August 5, the entire magazine will be dedicated to a single story by Nathaniel Rich, a writer at large for the magazine, that tells the story of this critical decade in the planet’s history, and the individuals who tried to warn us. Rich’s narrative is accompanied by a series of stunning photos from around the world by George Steinmetz that show the profound effects of mankind’s inability to effectively address this slow-moving catastrophe. This story will change the way you think about climate change.

Jake Silverstein, editor in chief of The New York Times Magazine, will be in conversation with Nathaniel Rich and two of the primary subjects of his story, the former NASA geophysicist James Hansen and the environmental activist Rafe Pomerance.

Below is a short discussion on climate change during the NYT Magazine launch event at New York Times Center.