Climate Change

Overcoming Barriers to Success: State Air Resource Board Leaders & L.A. Clean Tech Entrepreneurs Look To Better Align

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Mary Nichols

At the recently officially opened La Kretz Innovation Center (the home of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator), leaders from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) co-hosted a valuable roundtable discussion event focusing on how state policies are driving technological innovation in California.

Pope’s Environmental Encyclical On the Care of Our Common Home

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Pope Francis

Last week, Pope Francis joined a long line of his predecessors by issuing new Catholic teachings on a contemporary subject. The 184-page encyclical, called “Laudato Si’” or “Praise Be To You: On Care for Our Common Home” called on people across the world to address the serious threat of climate change. Pope Francis intertwines religious texts and science, making the case for anthropogenic warming as well as other harms caused to the planet by humans. In these excerpts selected by VerdeXchange News, Pope Francis urges nations to join together through international agreements, transforming their economies to prevent further destruction.

Open Letter: A Sustainable Economic Arizona-Mexico Relationship

Issue: 
Maryanne Weiss

Maryanne Weiss, president of Gustare Ltd. and CEO of VerdeXchange Arizona, has penned an op-ed on the importance of a sustainable economic relationship between Arizona and Mexico. She argues that collaboration and productive teamwork are necessary for the growth of the region. Weiss points out that two G20 nations sharing a border surely offers an opportunity for collective endeavors, around climate and otherwise, that must not be missed. To learn more about VX Arizona, visit www.vxaz.com.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.