Climate Change

Québec Minister Charged with ‘The Fight Against Climate Change’ Touts Cap and Trade

Issue: 
David Heurtel

David Heurtel is Québec’s first Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, and the Fight Against Climate Change. After over a year of overseeing this comprehensive mission, Heurtel spoke with VX News about the growing movement of subnational entities collaborating across countries in order to build an international green economy. In particular, he comments on the thriving cap-and-trade relationship between Québec and California that accommodates the needs of the two very different regions, as well as lessons learned about how to implement a successful cap-and-trade system. He also explains why in Québec, environmental action transcends politics.

Governors Schwarzenegger & Brown Affirm CA’s Bipartisan History of Curbing GHG Emissions

Issue: 

At the symposium “Global Climate Negotiations: Lessons from California” held in Sacramento, former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and current Governor Jerry Brown discussed the state’s landmark environmental policy, particularly efforts to curb greenhouse-gas emissions in light of climate change. VerdeXchange News includes their edited addresses below, along with a related comment from former Mayor of Long Beach Bob Foster. The program was hosted by the USC Schwarzenegger Institute, California Air Resources Board, Cal EPA, and R20 Regions of Climate Action.

Australia’s Rainwater Cisterns Inspire TreePeople’s Lipkis

Issue: 
Andy Lipkis

At the USC Center for Sustainability’s Spring Forum on May 6, titled “Envisioning Drought Resilient Cities,” Founder and President of TreePeople Andy Lipkis shared the unprecedented success Australia experienced after its citizens installed rainwater-capture cisterns on their homes during the country’s historic 12-year drought. Lipkis discussed how, in the face of changing weather patterns due to climate change and with fewer trees to capture, clean, and store rainwater than we once had, those living in cities must mobilize to collect as much precipitation as possible—and local water agencies must work together on stormwater solutions rather than remaining in isolation. VX News has included an edited transcription of his remarks.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Keynotes VX2014: Building Sustainable and Resilient Cities

Issue: 

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti addressed the VerdeXchange VX2014 Conference in Downtown Los Angeles on January 28. He delivered the following transcribed remarks during a luncheon plenary entitled, “Building Sustainable and Resilient Cities—Greener by Design.” Garcetti discussed Los Angeles’ commitment to sustainability—from the first residents of the pueblo to the current administration—touching on the role of Chief Sustainability Officer Matt Petersen, the use of metrics to reach goals in the city, and his position on President Obama’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.

President Obama’s Climate Change Call to Action and 2020 Plans for Slowing Its Serious Effects

Issue: 

In a June speech at Georgetown University, President Barack Obama outlined his strategy for both mitigating climate change and responding to its repercussions. The plan’s three pillars involve reducing the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere, increasing readiness for the impacts of climate change, and serving as a global leader to address the issue. In the following article, VerdeXchange News has reprinted the beginning of the plan’s introduction. To provide an overview, VerdeXchange News has also reprinted a summary of the text that first appeared in The Washington Post.

Lancaster, California’s Mayor Rex Parris Leads City to Become First to Mandate Residential Solar Energy

Issue: 

The City of Lancaster aims to become the first net-zero city in the world, and took strides toward that goal by mandating solar energy for every new single-family home constructed in the municipality at the start of this year. R. Rex Parris, the Mayor of Lancaster, described his vision to VerdeXchange News: that the city will serve as an example others follow, so that the nation can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help prevent the worst potential outcomes of climate change. With a clear goal, Mayor Parris has united his constituents around the frank reality of climate change.

Congressman Earl Blumenauer Assesses Government’s Short-Sighted Response to Natural Disasters and Climate Change

Issue: 

Over the past three decades, North America has seen a fivefold increase in weather-related natural disasters, with relief spending mirroring this exponential trend. As the population grows, the number of Americans residing in “at risk” areas along the coast, rivers, and in the “fire zone” also continues to rise. In the following VerdeXchange News interview, Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer explains why our current federal policy on natural disaster recovery is both fiscally unsustainable and life threatening. He suggests the changes in zoning, infrastructure investment, insurance, and taxation that must occur on a national scale to prepare for climate change.

President Obama & Governor Jerry Brown Both Tout & ‘Agendize’ Climate Change & Public Investment

Newly reelected President Barack Obama and California Governor Jerry Brown both began 2013 - the former in his Inaugural Address and the latter in his State of the State speech - by emphasizing the need for lawmakers to address the issue of climate change. And both also cite the need for critical infrastructure investment and mitigation efforts to act as part of a solution to control the symptoms of climate change. Project funding, ranging from high-speed rail to flood control, they assert, are key to reducing the amount of energy consumed from non-renewable sources of energy, limiting carbon footprints, and protecting posterity from future disasters; thereby creating newer, innovative green jobs and protecting jobs that already exist from being threatened by climate change.

Cleantech Investor Tom Rand on Parallels of California and Canada's Cleantech Markets & Government Initiatives

Tom Rand is a well-known investor and entrepreneur and is the Cleantech Practice Lead Advisor at theMaRS Discovery District in Toronto, Canada. Ahead of an LAEDC trade mission to Toronto, VX asks Rand how markets are beginning to reflect the realities of climate change and what parallels exist between cleantech investment in California and Canada. Rand notes that as the pressures of climate change emerge, industries across all sectors, from mining to forestry to manufacture, will have to plan carefully to reduce carbon emissions as part of staying flexible with a changing economy. <See: http://vxcanada.ca/>