Good Climate News

Good Climate News this Week: An Indigenous Land Victory, EV Tax Credits, Curbside Composting, and More!

Oct 9, 2023

Every Monday, we round up five of the best good climate news stories we’re celebrating this week. This week we’re covering an Indigenous Land Victory, offshore wind in New England, curbside composting in New York, and more.

1. Brazil’s Indigenous peoples win major land rights victory

Aerial view of forest and river in Brazil.
Credit: Lucas Ninno / Diálogo Chino

Brazil’s Supreme Court blocked efforts to dramatically strip back Indigenous land rights in a historic victory for Brazil’s original inhabitants.

Nine of the court’s 11 members voted against an agribusiness-backed attempt to prevent Indigenous communities claiming land they did not physically occupy in 1988.

“[This is a] victory for struggle, a victory for rights, a victory for our history,” the Indigenous congresswoman Célia Xakriabá tweeted.

Source: The Guardian

2. Biden administration to make EV tax credits more accessible

Closeup of a parking spot with symbol for electric vehicle.
Credit: Unsplash

The Treasury announced that consumers will now be able to receive eligible tax credits for new and used electric vehicles at the point of purchase, rather than waiting to receive the credit when filing their taxes.

Previously, consumers were required to pay the full price of the vehicle upfront and wait to receive the credit as part of their tax refund. This announcement makes purchasing an EV more accessible to consumers who may not have been able to afford one otherwise.


3. Offshore wind gets a boost in New England

Offshore wind turbines in the middle of a storm with waves.
Credit: National Renewable Energy Lab

Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island announced plans to jointly consider bids for offshore wind development in order to drive renewable energy development in New England.

This intrastate collaboration will drive down costs for developers and clear the path for more offshore wind development in the region. Offshore wind is a crucial component of each of these states’ climate plans, with the three states cumulatively targeting nearly 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind in the next 10 years or so.

Source: Climatewire

4. Department of Energy tightens efficiency standards for gas furnaces

Repair person attending to a gas furnace.
Credit: Phyxter Home Services

The Department of Energy released tighter efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces, which account for about 19% of residential energy use in the U.S. The new standards will require non-weatherized gas furnaces to reach an annual fuel utilization efficiency rate of 95%.

These standards are expected to save consumers a cumulative total of nearly $25 billion over the next 30 years and cut carbon emissions by 332 million metric tons, which is roughly equivalent to the annual combined emissions of 42 million homes.


5. Curbside composting is coming to New York City

Closeup of hands holding compost soil.
Credit: Unsplash

New York City’s new mandatory curbside composting program was rolled out in Brooklyn this week, after launching in Queens a year ago. The program will roll out to all of the city’s five boroughs by October 2024.

The city-wide program requires residents to separate food scraps and yard waste from trash and place it in a separate bin for curbside pickup. Composting has a multitude of benefits from reducing landfill methane emissions to improving soil health, which can increase the soil’s food-growing and carbon-capture capacities.

Source: NYT

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