Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth US React to G7 Summit Climate Commitments

Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth US React to G7 Summit Climate Commitments

UNITED KINGDOM — Today, the three-day G7 summit came to an end with announcements about tackling the climate crisis. The climate and environment section of today’s Communique announced joint actions to end public support for overseas unabated coal generation by 2022 and agreed to “phase out new direct government support for carbon intensive international fossil fuel energy, except in limited circumstances at the discretion of each country.” These announcements are critical given that G7 countries provided an average of USD 86 billion in public finance for fossil fuels between 2017 and 2019 — more than three times their support for clean energy over the same time period, with the US among the worst actors. But the communique also includes a vague statement about the role of communities most affected yet least consulted about the climate crisis, stating “Together we welcome the active role and participation of vulnerable communities, underrepresented groups and will work towards achieving equality.” 

In the lead up to the G7 summit, the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth US hosted an inaugural Global Grassroots Leaders Climate Summit, bringing together grassroots leaders representing 30 organizations from 17 countries. During the summit, leaders emphasized the demand for a just transition to a clean energy economy which centers the most vulnerable communities. They also discussed the impacts of US-financed energy projects overseas and the climate issues in their communities more broadly, and shared their demands with the Biden Administration, including Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, the Development Finance Corporation, the US Treasury Department, and the US Export-Import Bank. Grassroots Leaders also participated in public facing webinars elevating asks to immediately halt US overseas fossil fuel finance, shut down coal, and encourage renewable energy finance and just transition. 

In response, Sierra Club International Climate and Policy Director Cherelle Blazer released the following statement: 

“It’s a welcome sign that the United States is partnering with fellow G7 countries to acknowledge the need for a global transition off of coal and begin the phaseout of fossil fuels. However, the lack of commitment to an immediate end of financing for fossil fuel projects accompanied with FAR too little investment in new renewable energy is a game of too little too late. If the world is to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, we must make the bold steps necessary to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. We cannot claim to grasp the ongoing — and increasingly dire — effects of the climate crisis while simultaneously prolonging the life of the fuels driving it. This past week brought welcome news, but it will only continue to serve as green rhetoric unless investment to address the climate crisis grows significantly.”

International Policy Campaigner Luisa Galvao from Friends of the Earth US released the following statement:

“G7 commitments to phase out fossil fuels are looking like swiss cheese: full of holes. While it is  welcome that G7 countries finally agreed to end public support for coal, as communities around the world have long called for, the G7 should have taken this opportunity to end support for all fossil fuels, as science and justice require. Instead, the G7’s silence on oil and gas will continue to subject communities to an unjust transition.” 

Dominion Files IRP Increasing Reliance on Fracked Gas

Dominion Files IRP Increasing Reliance on Fracked Gas

RICHMOND, VA – Today, Dominion Energy filed its Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) with Virginia’s State Corporation Commission. The IRP is a sweeping projection of future energy demand and how the utility plans to meet the commonwealth’s energy needs.  

The IRP lays out four plans that each call for increased reliance on short-term fracked gas infrastructure, which will force consumers to pay for gas plants that will soon be outdated due to the 100% carbon-free by 2045 standard established in the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA). Dominion’s preferred plan would even keep existing gas plants in operation indefinitely, on the assumption that they can be made carbon-neutral or that their emissions can be offset by negative emissions elsewhere. 

Each of the four plans included in Dominion’s IRP account for the 2025 retirement of the Clover coal plant. Coal is an extremely toxic, expensive, and outdated energy source and it is critical that Dominion offer coal plant workers and consumers certainty by announcing the 2025 retirement date. However, Dominion’s overall IRP shows that the utility needs to do more to meet the needs and opportunities of Virginia’s clean energy future. 

Sierra Club Virginia Chapter Director Kate Addleson released the following statement:

“Communities across the Commonwealth are demanding a shift from expensive fossil fuels to affordable clean energy to create jobs and stop polluting our air, water, and climate. Continued reliance on fracked gas to meet electric demand is extremely uneconomical and comes at a real cost to ratepayers and our ability to advance climate solutions. Dirty fossil fuels have no place in Virginia’s clean energy future, especially given that clean, renewable energy resources are incredibly affordable and abundant.”

rowing Bamboo From Seed: Episode 1

rowing Bamboo From Seed: Episode 1

ITEMS NEEDED: 4-inch (100mm) square or round pots Perlite or Vermiculite Peat Moss Non-chlorinated water Ziplock bags – 1-gallon (4-liter) size Salt Laundry bleach Seed soaking bottle (small plastic drink bottle) Wood pencil Plant mister bottle FIRST STEP: Sterilize pots by soaking in bucket of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Soak for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse well with clean water. SECOND STEP: Optional – you can leave the ovary of the seed in its hull (palea and lemmon), or you can peal back the hull and remove the ovary for sterilizing. Sterilize the seeds for 5 to 15 minutes in bottle with 1part salt to 9 parts water. Water should be body temperature , but no warmer than 100 degrees F (37 degrees C). Rise seeds well in clean water (also not too warm). Soak seeds in non-chlorinated water that is around 85 to 100 degrees F (29 to 37 degrees C). Soak the seeds for a couple of hours or until ready to plant, but no longer than 48 hours. THIRD STEP: Combine equal parts of peat moss and vermiculite (perlite can be used in lieu of vermiculite). Wet the mixture with non-chlorinated water. Fill pots with the wet soil mixture and press down (compact) the top surface lightly. FORTH STEP: Now we are ready to plant bamboo seeds. Take a sharpened wood pencil and poke a hole in the soil. Stop when the top of the tapered sharpened end of the pencil reaches the surface of the soil. You can plant one or two seeds per pot, your choice, so make one or two holes as needed. Drop-in one seed per hole. The top of the seed points up which is the tapered pointed end of seed with hull or the pointed end of ovary without the hull. If uncertain of which end is up, search for the anatomy of bamboo seed for diagrams. Press the hole shut with pencil or fingers. Mist the top of the pot to wet the soil surface using non-chlorinated water. FIFTH STEP: Place each pot in a ziplock bag and seal. This will serve as your mini greenhouse. Keep the temperature around 75 to 95 degrees F (24 to 35 degrees C), but do not let the temperature rise above 105 degrees F (40 degrees C). Temperatures higher than this can damage or kill the ovary. A heat source such as a heat lamp or heating pad can be used, or you can place your mini greenhouses outside in full shade if warm summer temperatures are present. Do not position the mini-greenhouses in direct sunlight as the temperature inside the bags can get too hot. You may have seedlings appear as early as 10 days under warm conditions. The seedlings are not likely to all emerge at the same time and some could take as long as 30 days. Be patient. SIXTH STEP: The new seedlings will not need fertilizer for the first few weeks. After the seedlings are a few weeks old or several leaves appear it is time to transplant to a soil mixture containing food (compost) or an application of a mild chemical fertilizer such as Miracle Grow for vegetables. See our next video for transplanting your seedlings. CAUTIONS: Be careful with bleach. Undiluted bleach can burn your skin if not rinsed off shortly after contact. Be careful with heat lamps as they can be a source of fires. Secure heat lamps well and keep away from combustibles such as wood, paper, and plastics. Be careful with any electrical devices such as heat lamps and heating pads, especially around water. Use a ground fault interrupt receptacle for safety. Obviously, electricity can kill you.

Trump Administration’s Pro-Polluter Agenda Defeated Once Again in Court

Trump Administration’s Pro-Polluter Agenda Defeated Once Again in Court

Federal Court Rejects Trump Plans to Withdraw Protections from Arctic, Atlantic Oceans for Drilling

Fairbanks, AK — Last night, the United States District Court for the District of Alaska ruled that Donald Trump acted unlawfully in his attempt to undo permanent protections for the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans from offshore drilling. The ruling restores protections to 98% of the Arctic Ocean and millions of acres in the Atlantic. It will also force the administration to reconsider its radical proposed offshore drilling program, which would have expanded drilling into nearly every corner of America’s public waters, including these protected areas.

This ruling follows two other federal court decisions in the last two weeks that have rejected the administration’s plans to auction off hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands in Wyoming and Colorado for oil and gas drilling without considering the climate impact.

In response, Sierra Club Our Wild America Campaign Director Lena Moffitt released the following statement:

“Once again, the courts are reminding Donald Trump that he is not above the law, and he can’t just sell off America’s public lands and waters with no regard for the climate or the public interest. We will continue to fight back against this administration’s destructive, pro-polluter agenda at every turn.”