Good Climate News

Good Climate News this Week: the EPA’s Final Methane Rule, EV Sales, Renewable Energy, and More!

Dec 11, 2023

Every Monday, we round up five of the best good climate news stories we’re celebrating. This week we’re covering the EPA’s final methane rule, record-breaking EV sales, a milestone for offshore wind, an international renewable energy pledge, and the world’s largest renewable energy project in India.

1. EPA releases rule to regulate methane pollution

Michael Regan of the EPA speaking at the COP28 gathering.
Credit: EPA

The EPA released its long-awaited final rule to regulate methane and other pollution from the oil and gas industry last weekend at COP28.

Among other measures, the final rule will facilitate the phasing out of natural gas flaring and require routine inspection of equipment for leaks, and aims to cut human-caused methane emissions (which the EPA estimates are responsible for 20-30% of global temperature rise) by 80% of projected emissions over the next 14 years.

Source: EPA

2. Electric vehicle sales hit record highs in the U.S.

A Volkswagon executive giving a talk amongst electric vehicles on stage.
Credit: Matti Blume

Electric vehicle sales in the U.S. have, for the first time, surpassed one million units sold in a single calendar year. Sales projections estimate that overall 2023 EV sales could top 1.2 million units, a 54% increase from 2022 numbers.

Globally, EV sales are up 35% since last year, with 2023 global EV sales expected to hit 14.2 million units sold.

Because they have no tailpipe emissions and contribute significantly less greenhouse gas emissions than the average new gas powered car, more EVs on the road means less pollution and healthier air for our communities.

Source: ZETA, EPA, Politico

3. First U.S. commercial offshore wind turbine comes online

Wind turbines off the coast of New York.
Credit: Osted

A wind turbine in the South Fork Wind project off the coast of New York is supplying electricity to the U.S. energy grid, making it the country’s first commercial offshore wind development to be brought online. Europe and Asia have both been utilizing clean energy generated by offshore wind for some time.

This is a major milestone for offshore wind in the country and another step toward reducing dependence on fossil fuels and transitioning to “clean, reliable, domestically-produced energy.”

Source: AP

4. 119 nations pledge to triple renewable energy capacity

A collection of representatives from various countries, clapping together at COP28.
Credit: COP28 / Christopher Pike

As of late last week, 119 nations at COP28 have agreed to a pledge led by the EU, U.S., and UAE to triple global renewable energy capacity and double the rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030.

The countries leading the pledge hope to receive more signatories by the end of the summit in order to enshrine it in the final U.N. climate summit decision and make the pledge a global goal, a move that would require the support of nearly 200 nations.

This international push toward clean, renewable energy will help reduce global reliance on fossil fuels and create a future with fewer planet-warming carbon emissions.

Source: Reuters, Guardian

5. India plans world’s largest renewable energy project

A large solar field in Rajasthan, India.
Credit: CIF Action

India is working to build the world’s largest wind and solar project in the salt deserts on the Pakistan border.

The project is currently providing jobs for an estimated 4,000 laborers and 500 engineers and once complete, will generate 30 gigawatts of renewable energy annually, enough to power 18 million homes in India. This project will help the country reach its goal of installing 500 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030, and of reaching net zero emissions by 2070.

Source: AP

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